Flintshire prosecution of restaurant owner
A Flintshire restaurant owner pleaded guilty to two offences under housing legislation designed to protect occupiers of properties in multiple occupation, following a successful prosecution by Flintshire’s Environmental Health team.
Noorjahan Begum of Hasligden Road, Rossendale, Lancashire, who is one of the owners of Amantola Restaurant on Welsh Road in Garden City, failed to comply with Prohibition Orders made in 2019.
The staff accommodation at the site comprising of former offices to the first floor of both buildings were visited by Environmental Health in September and November 2019.
In the building next door to the restaurant, staff were found to be living with serious fire risks. There was no fire alarm or fire doors, unhygienic conditions, portable heating in use, electrical defects and cooking facilities being used on the escape route. Subsequently Environmental Health made a Prohibition Order.
Staff living above the restaurant were also found to be living with serious fire risks. There was a defective alarm, portable heaters in use, exposed electrical wiring and inadequate cooking facilities. The living conditions above the restaurant were so serious Environmental Health had to make an Emergency Prohibition Order.
During a revisit by Environmental Health in January 2020, the properties were still being used by staff for living and sleeping purposes - in breach of the Prohibition Orders.
In mitigation, Begum argued that steps had now been taken to remove the risk and that the existence of a tenant caused practical difficulties. Nonetheless, Magistrates said it was clear Begum had failed to carry out the necessary repairs and left the staff at risk. At the hearing, Begum pleaded guilty to both offences and was ordered to pay £2,115 within 28 days.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Protection, Councillor Christopher Bithell, said:
“This successful prosecution reflects Flintshire County Council’s commitment to ensuring houses in multiple occupation meet all the legal standards required for this type of property in Wales.
“We believe everyone has the right to live in a home which is in good repair, has ready access to all necessary amenities and is free from physical hazards. Whilst we aim to reduce the health effects of poor housing conditions through a combination of advice and financial assistance, occasionally we deal with matters that are so serious a prosecution is necessary.
“This successful prosecution sends out a clear message to landlords and other accommodation providers that non-compliance with current housing standards is completely unacceptable and that Flintshire County Council will protect its residents. It reflects Flintshire’s commitment to ensuring homes in the private rented sector are properly managed.”