Colchester Landlord Fined £20,000 for HMO Offences

A Colchester landlord has been fined after being found guilty of nine offences in relation to a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

Landlord Cyril Thomas, who runs property management company Platinum Crown Investments Ltd, was told that he must pay £20,000. Thomas was fined £1,000 for each of the offences he committed. On top of this, he was ordered to pay over £11,000 in costs as well as a victim surcharge of £100 by Colchester Magistrates. The total sum he was ordered to pay by the court amounted to over £20,000.

The landlord’s offences were discovered following an inspection in December 2015. The home, described by the council as a flat above the letting office in Colchester, had been converted without the correct Building Regulations approval. The conversion was also poorly executed. The local authority asserted that this contributed to breaches of HMO management regulations. This was due to the creation of fire risks, and an inaccessible fuse box. The later issue had rendered residents stuck in the cold and dark for two nights after the electrics tripped.

The judges showed some leniency to the landlord by allowing him to pay the sum over a prolonged period of 20 months. However, Thomas still intends to appeal the decision.

He stated after the hearing: ‘I’m disappointed with the decision that has been taken in regards to prosecuting me in my personal name. However, I’m pleased that Platinum Crown has been acquitted of all 10 charges that were brought against it.  Having given careful consideration to the way in which this case has been handled, my legal advisors believe we have grounds to appeal and an appeal has now been lodged. As previously mentioned, Platinum Crown takes its property management responsibilities extremely seriously and generally enjoys an excellent working relationship with Colchester Borough Council.’

Mr Thomas has since successfully appealed against the conviction.