Nottingham Landlord Prosecuted for Overcrowded Flat

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A Nottingham landlord has been prosecuted for overcrowding his one-bedroom city flat, forcing a teenager to sleep in a storeroom.

Nottingham landlord Matteo Mariano rented the small one-bedroom city flat to a family of seven and allowed the family to remain at the premises on Sneinton Boulevard despite a prohibition notice being served by the council.

Sarah Mills, for the council, said that the one-bedroom flat is up some stairs. On one floor, it has a kitchen, bathroom and living room. On an upper floor, there is one bedroom.

In December 2014, ‘serious hazards’ were found and the Nottingham landlord was banned from allowing people to live there. But this was breached, and he was fined £1,325.

Some improvements were carried out but there was still a shortage of handrails on the stairs, no roof insulation and doors fitted badly. The bathroom door could not be locked.

In March last year the tenant complained, and the council realised that Mariano had rented it out again. Two adults were staying there with five children.

Mariano of Ranmoor Road, Gedling pleaded guilty to breaching a prohibition notice by allowing people to sleep in the flat between April 22 and May 10 last year.

The Nottingham landlord was fined £3,000 plus £170 government surcharge and the £1,763 costs of the city council.

District Judge Leo Pyle said that a 14-year-old girl had to use a storeroom as a bedroom. The youngest of five children was two and the oldest 16.

The judge told Mariano: ‘There were basic sleeping arrangements, no private place to study or play. I can’t overlook you are a professional landlord; these are human beings in a very very small flat.’

The judge also stated that Mariano had failed to give full details of his finances, saying: ‘You have not even disclosed the rental these tenants were charged to live in cramped conditions.’

He said that it was ‘irrelevant’ for Mariano to complain of having a difficult relationship with ‘one or more council officers’, adding: ‘The fact is that he has legal obligations he must comply with or face prosecution.’

Sanmari Martins, mitigating, said that Mariano did not regard himself as a ‘professional landlord.’ She disputed the council’s costs and asked for the total bill to be paid at £100 a month.

But the judge said: ‘He will have to do better than that.’ He set the payment at £250 monthly.

After the case, the Nottingham landlord tried to excuse himself, saying: ‘I didn’t understand the legislation until I got a solicitor involved. I am not a professional landlord. They have been sending paperwork to the wrong address and I didn’t get any of it.’

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