Landlord who failed to take action over ‘unsanitary’ Tiptree flat fined £5k

Bryanita Court, Tiptree. Picture: COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL

Bryanita Court, Tiptree. Picture: COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

A landlord who had tenants living in an overcrowded Tiptree flat with mould and poor sanitation has been ordered to pay more than £10,000.

Water damage found in the flat in Bryanita Court, Tiptree, during a council inspection. Picture: COL

Water damage found in the flat in Bryanita Court, Tiptree, during a council inspection. Picture: COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Colchester Borough Council first became aware of a problem at the property in Bryanita Court after the owners of a business on the floor below complained of water leaking through their ceiling.

Mohibur Rahman, of Corporation Road, Chelmsford, was served an abatement notice by the council to sort out the leak.

When the leak continued, the council launched an investigation and inspected the flat on June 14 last year, along with plumbers employed by the authority – who stopped the worst of the leaks.

During the inspection, six further ‘category one’ hazards – the maximum severity – were found. These included overcrowded conditions, bad sanitation caused by poor plumbing and hygiene in the kitchen and bathrooms, a lack of fire safety precautions, damp and mould, and a risk of burns from scalding water.

Water damage found in the flat in Bryanita Court, Tiptree, during a council inspection. Picture: COL

Water damage found in the flat in Bryanita Court, Tiptree, during a council inspection. Picture: COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant


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A second inspection was held on July 20, and when no action was taken in response to a prohibition order by the council preventing residential use of the property, the authority launched legal proceedings against Rahman.

Colchester magistrates heard yesterday how the flat was occupied by several people from different households, whose health was at risk from their surroundings.

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Rahman, who was not in Colchester Magistrates’ Court for the hearing, was found guilty of two offences under the Environmental Protection and Housing Acts.

Magistrates fined him £5,000, and ordered him to pay £5,322 in costs.

Water damage found in the flat in Bryanita Court, Tiptree, during a council inspection. Picture: COL

Water damage found in the flat in Bryanita Court, Tiptree, during a council inspection. Picture: COLCHESTER BOROUGH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Tina Bourne, borough councillor for housing and communities, said: “Poor living conditions can cause immense unhappiness and put lives at risk.

“Despite repeated attempts to engage with the owners of this property, the prohibition order intended to protect residents was ignored.

“Colchester Borough Council takes its duty to enforce housing standards very seriously and we always take action where we find that accommodation is not being responsibly managed, so I am pleased with the result of this prosecution.”

For more information about Colchester Borough Council’s services for residents in private sector housing, visit the council’s website.

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