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Business owner fined £7500 for substandard staff accommodation

Stevenage Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a business owner for providing staff with unsafe living conditions at a property on Stevenage High Street.

The case was heard at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 13 August. Mr Modris Ali attended court and pleaded guilty to five charges of breaching a Housing Prohibition Order by allowing people to live at the unsafe premises where there were inadequate fire precautions, no heating and cracked and broken windows. The only bathroom and kitchen facilities were those in the restaurant and the property was in a poor state of repair allowing rats and other pests to enter.

Mr Ali was fined £5000 for these offences and ordered to pay Stevenage Borough Council’s legal cost and a victim surcharge, totalling £7500.

Councillor Jeannette Thomas, Executive Member for Housing, Health and Older People at Stevenage Borough Council said: “The majority of Stevenage landlords provide a good standard of accommodation and comply with the legislation. The Environmental Health and Licencing team work with landlords and business owners to provide support and advice and have continued to do so throughout the peak of the pandemic. It is only fair and reasonable that landlords, including business owners providing staff accommodation, who provide unsafe and poor accommodation are held accountable with punishment ranging from fines and rent repayment, to being banned from being a landlord.”

If you are a landlord or business owner and need advice, or you are a tenant/employee living in poor accommodation please email Env.health@stevenage.gov.uk for advice.