11 people were living in 'extremely over-crowded' three-bedroom home

front of ipswich magistrates court

11 people were living in a three bedroom house in Dickens Road, Ipswich, the court heard - Credit: Gregg Brown

The owner of an "extremely over-occupied" three-bedroom house in Dickens Road, Ipswich has been fined £3,000.

Thanabalasingham Ketheeswarathas appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court, where he was prosecuted by Ipswich Borough Council for a number of HMO (house in multiple occupation) licence breaches.

The property he owned in Dickens Road was inspected by the council's private sector housing team on February 19, 2020, as part of a joint operation with police.  

IBC said the three-bedroom property was found to be extremely over-occupied, with 11 people living there.

The property was also found to be in a poor state of repair, with council inspectors noting there was a damaged smoke detector among the list of defects - which could have posed a major threat to the safety of the tenants living there had a fire broke out.

They also said the fire safety provisions in place were not up to the standard required for a house in multiple occupation.

Ketheeswarathas, who also resides in Dickens Road but at a different address, pleaded guilty to a string of offences under the provisions of the Housing Act 2004 and the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006.

He admitted failure to licence a house in multiple occupation, failure to maintain and provide an adequate system of fire detection for the HMO and a failure to take reasonable measures to protect the occupants of the HMO by preventing over-occupation.

He further admitted failing to maintain the property in a reasonable condition to protect the occupiers from injury.

Ketheeswarathas was fined £3,000 and he was also ordered to pay the council's costs. In total, the landlord will be required to pay a bill of £5,181 for putting his tenants at risk.

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In July, the owner of another house of multiple occupancy in Ipswich was also fined more than £3,000 after he admitted failing to keep it properly maintained.

Ahmet Ali, 36, of Valley Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to nine offences levelled at him by Ipswich Borough Council.

The counts referred to breaches of house of multiple occupancy (HMO) regulations at a property in All Saints Road, Ipswich.

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