Tag Archives: environmental health

Fine for Glenfield landlord

Glenfield fine for landlord[Photo: Blaby District Council]

A landlord has been ordered to pay over £5000 after being convicted of four offences under the Housing Act.

was fined £4,250 at Leicester Magistrates’ Court, and told to pay the Council’s full costs of £867.53 as well as a Victim Surcharge of £125. The £5,242.53 will be paid in £500 instalments.

The property on Dominion Road, Glenfield, Mr Phull’s former home, was converted into three flats without planning permission or Building Regulations approval and was considered to be a House in of Multiple Occupancy.

Part of the property was inspected by Blaby District Council’s Environmental Health Team on 10 October 2017.

A follow up visit was made three days later with a Fire Prevention Officer from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and the Council’s Planning Enforcement team.

The condition of the property resulted in two Emergency Prohibition Orders being issued, with two of the flats immediately prevented from being used as residential accommodation.

A total of 12 failures were found under regulations 4, 7, 8 and 9 of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006. They included:

Fire detection, means of escape and fire separation were inadequate and posed an imminent risk of serious harm to any occupants of flats 9B and 9C.

The landlord was unable to state which electricity supply fed the lights in communal areas and the boiler as it was provided on three separate prepay meters. As a result occupants were in danger of the communal lighting and boiler running out.

Three live exposed electrical conductors were found in flat 9A, two at reachable height.

Insufficient waste disposal facilities were provided, with waste left at the front of the property as a result.

Mr Phull also owns the Victoria Hotel on London Road, Leicester, an electrical shop and is currently in the process of converting a property into a Bed and Breakfast.

In mitigation, Mr Phull’s barrister referred to him as “not a professional landlord.” He has also subsequently carried out sufficient works to the property to ensure the Emergency Prohibition Notices Order was revoked.

Cllr Iain Hewson
Cllr. Hewson

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Regulatory Services, said: “This ruling once again highlights our message to landlords that we will not tolerate poor living conditions in the district.

“As the owner of a hotel Mr Phull should be fully aware of fire safety, particularly in the wake of terrible tragedies such as the Grenfell Tower incident. We urge anyone living in rented accommodation that thinks may not comply with the law to contact us so we can investigate.”

Anyone concerned about the condition of the property they are renting within the district can contact the Environmental Health Team via 0116 275 0555 or email environmental.health@blaby.gov.uk.

Environmental crime penalties increased

Littering in car park

Three fines for environmental offences in the district have been increased after a meeting of Blaby District Council’s Cabinet Executive.

The Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) amount for those caught littering and distributing free literature on land without permission has been increased from £75 to £150. The early payment amount has also been increased from £65 to £100.

Graffiti and Fly Posting, which was previously a £75 fine has been upped to £100, with £65 remaining as the early payment amount. The early payment amounts for abandoning a vehicle (£120 to £150) and failing to produce a waste transfer note (£180 to £200) have also been increased.

All new charges will be introduced on Friday 01 June.

The increased FPN for littering comes after the introduction of The Littering from Vehicles outside London (Keepers: Civil Penalties) Regulations 2018.

The new legislation means registered keepers can be fined for vehicles identified in a littering offence.

Previously the person responsible for throwing the litter from the vehicle had to be identified for a fine to be issued.

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Regulatory Services, said: “The increase in these penalties should reaffirm our commitment to tacking environmental crime in our district, particularly those who litter from vehicles spoiling the countryside and costing taxpayers to clean it up.

“We strongly encourage anyone who witnesses littering from a vehicle and any other crime of this nature to report it to our Environmental Health team, who will investigate and take the appropriate action where possible.”

Anyone can report environmental crime to Blaby District Council’s Environmental Team by calling 0116 272 7555 or email environmental.health@blaby.gov.uk.

Landlord banned from renting “garage” to family

garageA landlord has been banned from renting out a converted garage after Environmental Health Officers found a family living in sub-standard conditions.

The detached double garage in Braunstone Town had undergone a partial conversion, equipping the area with a small kitchen, bathroom and a bed-sitting room.

However, officers inspecting the property found there to be no heating, inadequate insulation and no smoke alarms, whilst the windows and doors were found to be rotten.

On a later visit officers found a fault with the electrics, with the shower having stopped working as a result, and only one working plug socket.

The family, which included a young child, who were renting the converted garage, have been moved to a new home in time for Christmas.

They had been renting the property for over seven months before reporting the conditions they were living in to Blaby District Council.

One of the gravest concerns to officers was the main garage door, which had not been removed by the landlord. With the garage door in place tenants had nowhere to sit with natural light and a fire in the property could have left them trapped with no window to escape through.

Environmental Health served a Prohibition Order on the property; the order ensures that the landlord will be prosecuted if anyone lives in the property before extensive works are completed to convert to standards approved by the council.

Councillor Guy Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood & Environmental Services, said:

Cllr Guy Jackson
Cllr Guy Jackson

“There are a lot of laws covering rented properties and it can be hard for landlords to keep up to date with changes such as the new requirement for having smoke alarms fitted on every floor.

It is hard to believe, however, that any landlord thinks that it is acceptable to let a family live in the conditions found in this property. I hope the strong action taken by Blaby District Council will deter other landlords from letting tenants live in poor conditions.”

Tenants living in Blaby District can call 0116 275 0555 to ask for advice and assistance if they are concerned about the condition of their rented property.

Check before you choose on Mother’s Day

foodIf you are treating your mum to a meal out this Mother’s Day (10th March), make sure you show her you care by checking the food hygiene rating as well as the menu.

Her favourite restaurant might look amazing and be getting great reviews, but how good is its hygiene?

You can’t judge hygiene by appearance alone which is why the Food Standards Agency, in partnership with local authorities, has introduced the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. Think of it as a way to see inside the restaurant kitchens and get some ‘behind the scenes’ information.

Restaurants, pubs, hotels, cafés, takeaways and other places that sell or serve food are given a food hygiene rating from 0 to 5 when they are inspected by a food safety officer from Blaby District Council.

The top rating of 5 means a business has ‘very good’ hygiene standards and every outlet should be able to reach this.

It’s easy to check out the ratings by looking them up online at food.gov.uk/ratings or by downloading the free ‘food hygiene’ app. You can also look out for the distinctive green and black stickers that businesses are encouraged to display to tell their customers the rating they were given.

Councillor Guy Jackson, portfolio holder for Neighbourhood and Environmental Health Services, said:

“When dining out, especially with loved ones, you’ll choose to go to a place where you like the food and you know you’ll have a good time. It also makes sense to check out the food hygiene rating as well. You might be surprised by some of the results. It’s possible that a cheap takeaway might have a higher food hygiene rating than a smart, expensive restaurant.”

Catriona Stewart, Head of the Food Hygiene Ratings Team at the FSA, added:

“The FHRS is all about putting the consumer first, giving people useful information on which to base their choice of where to eat. The FSA is working in partnership with Blaby District Council and other local authorities to roll out this scheme nationally. We recommend that when you eat out you choose the places with the higher ratings.”

There are estimated to be around a million cases of food poisoning every year in the UK, with about 20,000 people ending up in hospital. Nobody wants to have Mother’s Day ruined but you can now check out your choices first.

Tell others about your experiences:

Twitter @foodgov #FHRS

Facebook www.facebook.com/FoodHygieneRatingScheme

Court action for fly tipping landlord

 

Evidence found amongst fly-tipped refuse in Hill Lane, Countesthorpe

A Leicester landlord has been fined over £800 after a large amount of illegally dumped waste was found on Hill  Lane, Countesthorpe.

 

Comall Masih, 52, of Hastings Walk, BraunstoneTown, was caught out after unopened letters addressed to previous tenants were found amongst the rubbish, which included 30 black bin liners, two mattresses and a lot of household waste.

 

During the investigation it emerged Comall employed two men to clear one of his properties, Harrison Road, Leicester, which had been left in a state by the previous tenants.

 

He was interviewed at Blaby District Council on 23rd February 2012, where he confirmed it was his vehicle that was used for the clearance of the property and disposal of the waste.

 

Comall appeared at Leicester Magistrates court on July 13 and pleaded guilty.

 

He was fined£812.50, £500 fine with £297.50 full costs and £15.00 victim support.

 

Councillor Guy Jackson, portfolio holder for regulatory and neighbourhood services said:

“Mr Masih had a duty of care to dispose of the waste appropriately, however the waste never reached a licensed waste contractor and instead was found on Hill Lane, Countesthorpe.

 

“Blaby District Council has a zero tolerance to fly tipping and will thoroughly investigate all complaints and incidents of fly tipping. The substantial fine highlights that the offence is also serious in the eyes of the court.”

 

To report fly tipping or any other environmental crimes visit www.blaby.gov.uk, email env.health@blaby.gov.ukor call 0116 272 7555.