Manager of overcrowded Peterborough house with blocked fire escape fined by court

A man who managed an overcrowded and dangerous house in Peterborough has been ordered to pay more than £1,000 at court.

Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 10:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 11:33 pm
Peterborough Magistrates' Court

Akram Ayub (54) managed the house of multiple occupation (HMO) in Russell Street last year.

He was in charge of the property when council inspectors visited in October - and found 13 people living in the three bedroom property. The inspectors also found mold in the kitchen and bathroom, the fire escape blocked, and a number of broken windows.

Yesterday Ayub, of Russell Street, pleaded guilty to eight counts of failing to comply with regulations in respect of management of housing in multiple occupation.

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He was fined £57, and ordered to pay costs of £960 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Colin Miles, prosecuting for Peterborough City Council, said: "There were 12 or 13 people living in the property. One upstairs room had five people living in it, one had four people, and there was one person in the middle room. One person was sleeping in the communal lounge, while one person was in the front room.

"There were belongings and electric extension cables all over the property.

"The fire escape leads from the kitchen to a covered passage, which was blocked by bicycles. The gate at the end was also padlocked - which would mean people trapped in the yard if there was a fire.

"There was mold in the lounge, kitchen and bathroom."

Mr Miles also said a number of windows could either not open or close, and a the handrail at the staircase was broken.

Andrew Cave, defending, told the court Ayub was a friend of the owners, and was managing the property as he worked next door.

He said: "The house was not in a great state.

"There were supposed to be five people living there, but when he went round they said the others were just friends staying for a short while.

"He said things would be fixed, but they would be broken again a few weeks later. The tenants were the ones who locked the gate.

"This house was a poisoned chalice. When the council came round and started the prosecution, it actually helped him, as he was able to evict the residents. It has been a blessing."

Mr Cave said after the tenants were evicted, £12,000 had been spent on repairs and renovations at the house, and a new family had moved in.