A LANDLORD has been fined after being convicted of breaching fire and electrical safety rules.

Raymond McSweeney, 80, had denied he had contravened laws at the House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) he owns and manages in Mile End Road, Colchester.

But he was convicted after a trial at Colchester Magistrates' Court.

The breaches related to fire and electrical safety, and living conditions within the property including a blocked fire escape route, exposed electrical wiring, extensive mould growth in the shared bathroom, general disrepair to the communal areas and unhygienic conditions.

McSweeney was fined £3,100 ordered to pay £3,998 costs and a victim surcharge of £35.

He had argued there was an abuse of process in bringing the charges against him.

Colchester Council also successfully prosecuted London-based property management company, Ankor Limited, which was convicted of breaching 36 HMO regulations for two properties in St Mary’s Fields, Colchester.

Ankor Limited also breached fire and electrical safety regulations, and the housing conditions did not meet the necessary standards required by legislation.

The breaches resulted in tenants living with no hot water or heating, fire safety issues, accumulations of household waste, electrical hazards and poor property maintenance.

Worried tenants contacted the council in November 2017, after their attempts to contact Ankor Limited about the issues were ignored. The company also failed to provide electrical and gas safety certificates for the properties, when requested by the council.

Since the council’s involvement, the owner has now appointed a new property manager for the two HMOs.

Ankor Limited will be sentenced in July..

The council's housing boss Tina Bourne (Lab) said the authority was not afraid to take legal action against landlords if communication about improving poor standards does not work.

She said: "The breaches at these properties left more than a dozen tenants living in unsafe living conditions, which put them at risk in their homes.

“Colchester Council is committed to improving standards of private sector housing."