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Lowestoft danger house appeal dismissed

PUBLISHED: 10:01 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:35 06 July 2010

A LOWESTOFT landlord who was found guilty of renting out a “dangerous” house after it had been shut down has had his appeal dismissed by a court.

Now Waveney District Council says the ruling should be taken as a stern warning to any landlords who flout the law.

A LOWESTOFT landlord who was found guilty of renting out a “dangerous” house after it had been shut down has had his appeal dismissed by a court.

Now Waveney District Council says the ruling should be taken as a stern warning to any landlords who flout the law.

Sarwain Ram, 59, allowed tenants to remain in his property in Waterloo Road, in Lowestoft, despite it being shut down by the council. Officers from the council's private sector housing team had deemed it to be in a dangerous condition partly because it did not have a working fire alarm system.

When Mr Ram did install a system, it was put on the tenants' supply so would therefore stop working if their electricity credit ran out.

Mr Ram, of Prospect Road, had also never obtained a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence from the council, despite constant warnings that he needed one. The property was a five storey house, split into three units, and had nine occupants when it was first inspected.

In addition he failed to obey three improvement notices demanding that work be completed on the building by a given deadline.

Mr Ram, who represented himself at Lowestoft magistrates court in April, denied each of the charges but was found guilty of all five counts. At the time he was fined £5,500 and ordered to pay costs of £7,000 to the council.

At Ipswich Crown Court his appeal on the decision was dismissed, and he was left with an extra £4,420 in fines and costs.

Afterwards Jason Hall, the council's principal private sector housing officer, said: “We are extremely pleased with the result. It sends out a clear message to those who believe they can flout the law and put their tenants at risk.”

He added that the council would now apply for a rent repayment order, which he said would take the total cost of Mr Ram's “mismanagement” to £22,500.


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