£140,000 in fines for buy to let couple failing to maintain properties

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A husband and wife pair of buy to let investors have been prosecuted after letting out a property that contained serious hazards and defects.

Hamedur Choudhury and his wife Roshon let out two flats and staff accommodation above a restaurant in East Grinstead. 

Environmental health officers from Mid Sussex council inspected the property 18 months ago and discovered serious issues including unsafe electrics, a lack of adequate heating, sub-standard kitchen facilities, unsafe stairs, faulty fire alarms and the majority of windows were either cracked or broken.

The officers offered to work with the couple to identify the deficiencies and repair works necessary but when the Choudhurys did not carry out any of the repair work voluntarily, they were issued with an Improvement Notice that legally required them to carry out certain improvements. 

The majority of these essential repair works were not carried out and the council took the decision to prosecute the landlords for their negligence. 

Earlier this month the couple were found guilty of failing to comply with the terms of an Improvement Notice (s.30(1) Housing Act 2004). Additionally, Hamedur Choudhury was found guilty of four offences under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2016. Brighton magistrates also find the couple £55,568 including the council’s costs.

It was not the couple’s first offence. 

They had previously been found guilty of similar housing standards offences relating to a separate HMO; at that time, Horsham magistrates’ fined them £87,996 for failing to address a number of serious defects within the property that led to damp and mould growth, excess cold, electrical hazards and fire safety issues.

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Written by: Houseladder