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My Norwich

Another victory for housing enforcement

Published on Thursday, 13th October 2016

Another Norwich landlord has been successfully prosecuted for putting lives at risk following a case brought by the city council’s housing enforcement team.

Piang Fui Pun, 47, of Cromer Road, Norwich, pleaded guilty to 13 charges at Norwich Magistrates Court on Wednesday 12 October, regarding safety concerns at an unlicensed HMO (house in multiple occupation) under his control.

Mr Pun received fines totalling £5500 and was ordered to pay costs of £4600 and a £175 victim surcharge.

The court heard that he had failed to provide housing officers with safety certification for electrical and gas installations at the property or ensure the fire doors were appropriately maintained.

The magistrate stated that had a fire occurred at the premises which caused any harm to the inhabitants, then Mr Pun could well have faced more serious charges.

Concerns with housing conditions were first raised with the council’s private sector housing team following a visit by police in February 2016, which established the Prince of Wales Road address was being used to accommodate employees of the landlords business.

A subsequent visit conducted by housing officers discovered serious defects with the fire doors and electrical installations, as well as broken windows and inadequate lighting. As a large HMO, a licence to operate was also required.

Officers returned in May and found whilst the fire doors had been attended too, many of the defects had not.  Appropriate certification could still not be provided and no attempt had been made by the owner to licence the property with the council.

All defects have since been rectified following further council intervention.

Councillor Bert Bremner, the city council’s cabinet member for private sector housing, said: “Keeping our residents’ safe and ensuring all housing is of a good standard are top priorities for the council.

“This particular case required a high level of partnership working and is another excellent example of the work being done to tackle landlords who operate outside the law.

“Our website has a wealth of information to support landlords in meeting their obligations to their tenants and we encourage all reputable landlords to set themselves apart by signing up to our new property registration scheme www.norwich.gov.uk/PRSNorwich

“This will help us improve conditions for those living in private accommodation and provide better regulation across the sector.”