Date issued :8 August 2019
A London-based property management company, which admitted to breaching 36 HMO regulations for two properties in Colchester, has been fined £1,800 following a successful prosecution by Colchester Borough Council.
The sentence, handed down by District Judge Woollard at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court today (8 August), followed the firm’s guilty plea at an earlier hearing at Basildon Magistrates’ Court, on 18 March 2019.
Ankor Limited, which was the HMO Licence Holder for both properties in St Mary’s Fields, was found to have breached fire and electrical safety regulations and housing conditions that did not meet the necessary standards required by legislation, after inspections by Environmental Health Officers.
The breaches resulted in tenants living with no hot water or heating, fire safety issues, accumulations of household waste, electrical hazards and poor property maintenance.
The tenants contacted the council’s Private Sector Housing Team, in November 2017, after their attempts to contact Ankor Limited about the issues were ignored. The company also failed to provide electrical and gas safety certificates for the properties, when requested by the council.
Since the council’s involvement, the owner has now appointed a new property manager for the two HMOs in St Mary’s Fields.
Councillor Adam Fox, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “The breaches at these properties left more than a dozen tenants living in unsafe living conditions, which put them at risk in their homes.
“Colchester Borough Council is committed to improving standards of private sector housing accommodation across the borough, and when accommodation is not being responsibly managed and regulations are breached, we will work with those involved to resolve the issues – but, if this proves to be unsuccessful, we will take legal action to remedy the situation and ensure tenants can enjoy a safe and healthy home which meets regulations.”
Acknowledging the company is in liquidation, Judge Woollard imposed a nominal fine of £50 per offence (£1,800), awarding the council £6,178.78 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.