A private landlord has been fined for renting out an unsafe annexe to tenants, said Crawley Borough Council.
A spokesman said Imtiaz Rahouffe, 57, of Sullington Hill, Southgate, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a Prohibition Order under the Housing Act 2004 at Horsham Magistrates’ Court on Friday (May 6).
Mr Rahouffe got planning permission to convert a garage next to his house into a games room but rented it out to private tenants from May 2013.
The council deemed the annexe ‘unsafe for human habitation’ due to fire hazards and inadequate heating after it was alerted to the situation in November 2013. Mr Rahouffe was served an Emergency Prohibition Order preventing any further occupation of the annexe.
A council spokesman said: “However, despite Mr Rahouffe being fully aware that he could not rent the annexe until the hazards were remedied, he re-let the premises to a new tenant in September 2014 without carrying out the required health and safety works and charged £600 rent per month until the tenant moved out in August 2015.
“It was shortly after the tenant had left that the Corporate Investigation Team at Crawley Borough Council, working alongside the council’s Private Sector Housing Team, discovered that the Prohibition Order had been breached and that none of the works required to make the property safe had been completed.
“Evidence was obtained during the investigation which showed that the annexe had been occupied illegally, putting tenant safety at risk.”
The tenant was housed in safe and secure accommodation and the council prosecuted Mr Rahouffe for the breach of the Prohibition Order.
He was convicted and fined £1,440 and the council was awarded full costs of £2,458.
Councillor Stephen Joyce, Cabinet member for Housing, said: “We take a very dim view of people who let unsafe rooms or properties to tenants.
“I sincerely hope that this case acts as a warning to anyone who is considering doing the same thing.”
The Private Sector Housing Team works to improve the condition of private sector homes, particularly where the health and safety of residents is at risk. Properties can be improved through the cooperation of property owners, the provision of financial assistance (if eligible) and through formal enforcement when appropriate. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The council’s Corporate Investigation Team works to detect and prevent all types of fraudulent and criminal activity which affects the council and the residents of Crawley and can be contacted free and in confidence 24 hours a day on 0800 634 0180 or email email@example.com
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