A landlord has been fined for breaching regulations for houses in multiple occupation following an early morning raid involving immigration enforcement officers.
As a result a London-based landlord, Selvakumar Francis, has appeared in court on charges connected with the condition and overcrowding of his property in Cambridge.
Magistrates heard evidence that Francis had allowed the property to deteriorate and had not put in place basic fire safety precautions. Officers identified a number of defects that amounted to nine breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006.
Francis pleaded guilty to the offences, was fined a total of £13,500 and ordered to pay the council’s costs of £1,460 plus the £120 Victim Surcharge – a total of £15,080.
During the inspection, officers from Cambridge council found that the fire detection system was inoperative with no fire detection to the kitchen or lounge. In addition, a fire door had been removed or not installed which, combined with the lack of fire detection to the downstairs area, meant that the tenants would not have been aware of any fire and would have been trapped in their rooms if fire broke out.
The hallway, which is the main escape route, was cluttered with three bikes, a mattress and several packs of laminate flooring.
There were eight beds within the three bedroom property but only one toilet available for all of the occupiers. One of the rooms being let out was only 5.5 square metres and had a bunk bed put in it. The other two bedrooms had three beds in each room. One of these beds was broken and there was only one electrical socket for the three occupants to use, resulting in multiple electrical extension sockets being used, and increasing the risk of fire.
The magistrates said Francis was negligent and his actions “had a significant effect on human health and quality of life.”