A private landlord in Nottingham has appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to breaching a prohibition order requiring him to limit the number of occupants in a rental flat he owns to a maximum of two people.
Officers from Nottingham City Council’s Safer Housing Team visited the one-bedroom property in Sneinton Boulevard in March and found seven people living there, including five children, aged between two and 16, some of whom were sleeping in a storeroom.
The Council immediately served a prohibition order requiring Matteo Mariano, aged 53, to reduce the number of occupants to no more than two people.
But when officers visited the property again two months later to make sure this had been carried out, they found that the same number of people were still living there from the previous visit, which meant that the landlord was in breach of the prohibition order.
Mariano, of Ranmoor Road, Gedling, was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £1,575 of legal costs, £944.94 investigation costs and a £170 victim surcharge.
Cllr David Mellen, leader of Nottingham City Council and portfolio holder for community safety, said: “It was a major concern for officers to find so many people cramped into a small, one-bedroom property.
“Lack of space and overcrowded conditions have been linked to a number of health problems, including psychological distress and mental disorders, especially those associated with a lack of privacy and childhood development.
“Crowded conditions are also linked with the spread of contagious illnesses and an increased risk of accidents.
“Mr Mariano paid scant regard to any of this, and clearly placed personal profit ahead of the safety and well-being of his tenants.
“The vast majority of landlords in Nottingham are law-abiding and respectful. However, people should be in no doubt that we will seek out those who put tenants at risk, and bring them before the courts.
“This is not Mr Mariano’s first offence. In 2014, the same property was inspected by the Safer Housing Team and an Emergency Prohibition Order was served because of a number of serious hazards and defects. This prohibited the property being used for living and sleeping accommodation.
“Mr Mariano failed to comply with this after allowing a tenant to rent the home. He subsequently plead guilty to breaching the order at court.”