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Successful prosecution by Colchester Borough Council after unsafe property remained occupied

At Basildon Magistrates Court, on 11 June, Mr Mahfuzur Rahman, was found guilty of two breaches of a Prohibition Order

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At Basildon Magistrates Court, on 11 June, Mr Mahfuzur Rahman, was found guilty of two breaches of a Prohibition Order served on him by Colchester Borough Council in relation to a flat in Bryanita Court, Tiptree.

Mr Mahfuzur Rahman, who attended the hearing, was ordered to pay a £1,800 fine, £4,000 costs and a £90 victim surcharge, following the successful prosecution by Colchester Borough Council.

Mr Mahfuzur Rahman and his father, Mr Mohibur Rahman, who owns the property, were both served with a Prohibition Order in June 2017, stating that the property could not be lived in due to its unsafe condition, but continued to permit the property to be occupied.

Following evidence presented at the trial, the Court found Mr Mahfuzur Rahman guilty of this offence, despite him previously denying this.  

Mr Mahfuzur Rahman's father, Mr Mohibur Rahman, who owns the property, was separately prosecuted for the same serious offences by Colchester Borough Council in January 2018.

During an inspection of the property by the Council's Private Sector Housing Team, on 14 June 2017, six serious housing hazards were found. These were assessed as 'Category One' hazards using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, under the Housing Act 2004. These included overcrowded conditions, poor sanitation caused by poor plumbing and hygiene in the kitchen and bathrooms, a lack of fire precautions, damp and mould, and a risk of burns from scalding water.

The property had such serious and numerous housing hazards, that the Council served a Prohibition Order on the property owner, Mr Mohibur Rahman and his son, Mr Mahfuzur Rahman,instructing them to stop using the premises as residential accommodation within 28 days.

At a further inspection on 20 July 2017, the property was found to still be occupied – a breach of the requirements of the Prohibition Order – and the Council began legal proceedings resulting in this prosecution.

Magistrates heard the flat has been continuously occupied by different households, whose health and safety has been at risk from the living conditions. During visits to the property, housing advice has been provided to the property’s occupants.

Councillor Tina Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: "Poor living conditions are totally unacceptable and can have a serious impact on residents and neighbouring properties.

“Colchester Borough Council takes its duty to enforce housing standards very seriously and this prosecution demonstrates that we will not tolerate poor housing conditions and will always take the appropriate action where we find that accommodation is not being responsibly managed.”

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