Ipswich: Landlord Kim Fong Chung fined over health and safety at flats
PUBLISHED: 10:14 28 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:14 28 November 2013
An Ipswich landlord must pay more than £4,000 in court fines and costs after failing to act over health and safety concerns at his flats.
Kim Fong Chung, of Bramford Lane, pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court to two offences of failing to comply with improvement notices issued by Ipswich Borough Council.
The notices were served on March 13.
One required the installation of an efficient heating system which was programmable and fully controllable at Chung’s property in Kingston Road, Ipswich.
He was told the system should be capable of maintaining an indoor temperature of 20C when the outside temperature is -1C
The order also required the loft insulation to be upgraded and to overhaul the windows throughout the property.
The second notice required an automatic fire alarm detection system to be installed at the property, and the provision of a dry powder type fire extinguisher and a fire blanket in the kitchen.
The council said despite repeated to make Chung aware of the seriousness of the situation, and the health and safety risks to his tenants, he had failed to comply with the requirements of the notices.
Chung, who was unrepresented at the hearing, said his occupants were happy with the property and had no complaints.
He brought a letter to court to confirm this and said it was a private tenanted property which he was not charging rent for, and it was not a house in multiple occupation.
However, the council maintained the occupants were paying the bills for the property in lieu of rent and therefore the tenants were not in occupation rent-free.
A number of visits were made to the property to establish whether the improvement notices had been complied with, but the council claimed Chung had failed to engage with its representatives.
The magistrates fined Chung £750 for each of the offences and ordered him to pay £75 to the victims’ fund.
He was also told he must pay prosecution costs of £2,500.
The total bill came to £4,075.
After the case a spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: “The council were concerned for the health and safety of the tenants particularly now that the winter is approaching. The fact that it was a privately-rented property made no difference.”