A buy-to-let landlord who was convicted of nine counts of breaching regulations for a house in multiple occupation (HMO) that he owned in Colchester and ordered to pay more than £20,000 plans to lodge an appeal against his guilty verdict.
Issues relating to poor heating, mould, fire doors, missing lightbulbs, poor ventilation in an ensuite shower room, failure to ensure fixtures and fittings were in good repair, not replacing a kitchen bin, inadequate waste storage facilities outside, and tenants being left without electricity over a weekend when the electrical fuse box tripped, saw the landlord receive a whopping fine.
Cyril Thomas, director of Platinum Crown Investment Ltd, denied the charges brought against him relating to 134a Hythe Hill, but Colchester Magistrates’ Court ruled against the landlord.
But Thomas quite rightly believes that his viewpoints should also be presented in this case, and that is why he has contacted Landlord Today to explain his version of events.
He explained: “I was convicted at Colchester Magistrate’s Court of nine breaches that were classified as level 5 therefore having the potential for unlimited fines.
“Thankfully, the sentencing was held by neutral magistrate judges based in Basildon by a television-link as no Colchester judges were available. This meant the judges were not aware of the local politics and potentially had no local ties.
After hearing details from both barristers it was concluded that the court would charge the landlord £1,000 per breach totalling £9,000 plus persecutions costs of £11,500.
But the landlord points out that the judges showed sympathy for his situation by stating that he could pay over a period of 20 months paying £1,000 per month, and although Thomas is going to appeal the outcome as he would like to clear his name, he insists that he is ‘happy’ with the way in which Basildon’s Magistrate Court handled the matter.
He also points out that Platinum Crown Investments Limited was acquitted of all 10 breaches that were brought against it.
In a statement, he added: “I’m disappointed with the decision that has been taken in regards to prosecuting me in my personal name. However, I’m pleased that Platinum Crown has been acquitted of all 10 charges that were brought against it.
“Having given careful consideration to the way in which this case has been handled, my legal advisors believe we have grounds to appeal and an appeal has now been lodged.
“As previously mentioned, Platinum Crown takes its property management responsibilities extremely seriously and generally enjoys an excellent working relationship with Colchester Borough Council.”