A ROGUE property owner is facing a bill of almost £90,000 after a string of failures which left his tenants at risk. 

The owner was found guilty of 17 failures of management in relation to 40  Satanita Road, in Westcliff. 

The failures included window joints being held together with tape, damp external rendering, defective guttering, boarded up windows, leaking pipes and uneven flooring.

An investigation was launched after Southend Council received reports of antisocial behaviour from, and associated with, the home. 

Following a site visit, officers found the property to be in poor condition and followed this up with a full inspection.

Some of the failures identified also included:

  • Failure to display management contact details in a prominent position in the HMO
  • Failure to ensure all escape routes of the property were kept clear of obstruction - the kitchen and hallways were obstructed, and the manager had not maintained the 30-minute fire protected escape route
  • The manager had failed to inspect and test the electrical installation, the test certificate being 12 months overdue
  • Management had failed to ensure all outbuildings were maintained, with the rear shed collapsed, and ivy restricting access to the front door
  • Failure to provide sufficient bins or other suitable provisions for refuse storage with no evidence of any waste/recycling arrangements

The council’s private sector housing team took action against the two operators of the HMO.

The freeholder of the building – Mr Arise, whose first name has not been provided by the council as yet - was found guilty of 17 counts of Management Regulation failures.

The freehold owner did not attened the hearing on Wednesday, March 18. 

He was fined £85,000 - £5,000 for each of the 17 failures - and the council was also awarded costs of £3,795.

With a victim surcharge, the total amount to be paid is £88,976.

The second operator sought and was granted an adjournment to enter a not guilty plea and that trial is set for Friday 26 June, dependent on the on-going coronavirus outbreak.

Ian Gilbert, leader of the council with a responsibility for housing, said: “Seeing the extent of the problems at this property was quite frankly shocking.

"There is no excuse for allowing a property to fail on so many different safety measures, which is supported by the severity of the fine given.

“Whilst we continue to support the Government’s guidance around staying at home, it is important residents have appropriate conditions to live in, and we hope this fine serves as a deterrent to those who fail to maintain their properties appropriately.”