Landlord fined more than £3,000 following council prosecution
PUBLISHED: 11:30 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:31 21 July 2020
The owner of a house of multiple occupancy in Ipswich has been fined more thatn £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 at Suffolk Magistrates Court on Monday.
The counts referred to breaches of house of multiple occupancy (HMO) regulations at a property in All Saints Road, Ipswich.
The former manager of the building, Dorel Nastase, was also charged with seven offences but failed to appear in court and was prosecuted in his absence.
Among the charges against Ali was failing to ensure all fire alarms were maintained and failing to keep all common areas in a good state of repair.
The pair also faced charges after they failed to inform the council that Nastase was acting in a managerial-type role at the property.
Ian Seeley,defending, said that Ali had been putting a lot of money into the property since he purchased it in 2016 and had decided to turn it into an HMO in 2018, with a license for the property being granted in January, 2019.
But he had since struggled to find tenants for the property, eventually employing the services of Nastase to help him find Romanian tenants.
The prosecution said that Ipswich Borough Council obtained a warrant to enter the property following concerns that too many people were living in the property in August 2019.
Once inside they found tenancy agreements that suggested seven people were living in the six bedroom property, one too many, as well as a number of issues with the property including the removal of the bottom of several fire alarms and general maintenance issues.
Mr Seeley also said that once tenants were in place Ali struggled to keep up with the maintenance on the property.
“He was trying to do the best he could,” said Mr Seeley.
“[He was] a man running his first HMO.”
The building has since been refurbished and is now managed by the YMCA.
Magistrates gave Ali credit for his guilty plea and reduced his fine to a total of £3,388, including costs and surcharge.
Nastase was found guilty in his absence and was fined a total of £3,338.
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