Worthing landlord fined after five people found living in ‘dangerous conditions’

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A Worthing landlord has been fined more than £22,000 after Worthing Borough Council found five people living in dangerous conditions in a property he was renting out.

The landlord had failed to get a licence for the three-storey House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Heene Road, Worthing – which is required by law.

The flat did not have suitable fire detection and fire doors to individual rooms have not been installed, a council spokesman said.

There was also no safe fire escape route, and the condition of the stairs meant that access was hazardous, said the spokesman.

The lack of suitable fire separation between a commercial kitchen on the ground floor and the residential flats meant the Council had to serve an Emergency Prohibition Order, making five people homeless, confirmed the council.

Officers from the Council’s Private Sector Housing team and West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service inspected the flat above a kebab shop in December last year.

The owner of the flat, Yilmaz Yaziciglou of South Farm Road, Worthing, was charged with failing to licence an HMO and eight further charges under the HMO management regulations, the council said.

On September 21, Yaziciglou who pleaded guilty was fined £4,000 for failing to licence an HMO, an additional £1,500 for each of the eight offences under the management regulations, and was also ordered to pay £6,224.76 in legal costs and £170 victim surcharge for a total of £22,394.76, confirmed the council.

Councillor Heather Mercer, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Customer Services, said: “The landlord of this flat showed complete disregard for the safety and wellbeing of his tenants and it is only through the timely intervention of the Council’s private sector housing team that serious injuries or worse were prevented.

“The level of the fine shows that the court recognises the gravity of the conditions within this flat and completely justifies the actions taken by Worthing Borough Council.

“Owners of Houses of Multiple Occupation need to be aware that if they do not comply with the new requirements the council will take action to protect residents.”