A landlord has been fined a further £5,000 after failing to turn up at his appeal against a previous prosecution.
Calvin Wong has been ordered by a crown court judge to pay over £5,000 in costs. He had originally been issued fines and costs of £14,202.38 last year after failing to obtain the correct licensing for his rental property which was also poorly maintained. He did not appear at the hearing for this case and was fined in his absence.
Wong appealed the conviction and the case was set to be heard at Stafford Crown Court last week. However, he once again failed to turn up, leading to Recorder Sam Mainds dismissing the appeal. Wong was therefore ordered to pay the local authority’s costs of £5,061.50 in the next 28 days.
Wong had previously been found guilty of failing to fit a suitable fire detection system, not keeping the property in good condition, and not obtaining a licence from the Borough Council.
Mr Mainds said: ‘We are satisfied he knew of these proceedings and chose not to attend. Almost bizarrely he did not attend the magistrates court either and the case was found against him.’
Councillor Jeremy Pert, cabinet member for communities, added: ‘The judge described the proceedings as bizarre – but I see it as a waste of public money and resources and I am very glad Mr Wong will have to pay even more for his folly. The vast majority of landlords work with us to ensure the accommodation they provide is of the highest standard. Mr Wong did not. We can all imagine the potential consequences of having many tenants in a house and not having a working fire detection system in place. It is a failing that makes me shudder. So I hope this case sends a clear message that we will prosecute if you fail to make sure your property is properly maintained.’