A Colchester landlord who was convicted of nine counts of breaching regulations relating to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) has made plans to launch an appeal against his guilty verdict.
Cyril Thomas, director of Platinum Crown Investment Ltd, was also fined over £20,000 following his conviction. The significant fine came from several issues, ranging from poor heating to mould, missing lightbulbs, poor ventilation in an ensuite shower room and the failure to ensure fixtures and fittings were in good repair.
However, Thomas denied the charges brought against him relating to 134a Hythe Hill. Despite this, Colchester Magistrates’ Court ruled against the landlord’s appeal.
Thomas spoke out to a landlord body against his conviction: ‘I was convicted at Colchester Magistrate’s Court of nine breaches that were classified as level 5 therefore having the potential for unlimited fines. Thankfully, the sentencing was held by neutral magistrate judges based in Basildon by a television-link as no Colchester judges were available. This meant the judges were not aware of the local politics and potentially had no local ties.’
After a summary of the evidence, it was decided that Thomas would be charged £1,000 per breach as well as an additional £11,500 in persecution. However, the landlord has confirmed that he is happy with how he was treated in the case, having been shown leniency in how he makes his payments. Basildon’s Magistrate Court had agreed that he could pay the sum owed over a period of 20 months. Furthermore, Platinum Crown Investments Limited was acquitted of all 10 breaches that were brought against the company.
However, the Colchester landlord is determined to continue with his appeal. He stated: ‘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.