Fine for landlord over Biggleswade flat’s serious health and safety hazards

Rogue landlord Cevdet Karakoc has been ordered to pay almost £8,000 over an unsafe flat in Biggleswa

Rogue landlord Cevdet Karakoc has been ordered to pay almost £8,000 over an unsafe flat in Biggleswade. - Credit: Archant

A landlord who let a Biggleswade flat be occupied despite serious health and safety hazards has been hit with a bill for almost £8,000.

Cevdet Karakoc allowed a flat above commercial premises in Biggleswade’s Hitchin Street to be occupied despite a raft of safety issues that were uncovered during an investigation by Central Bedfordshire Council.

Karakoc, of Biggleswade Road in Upper Caldecote, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Housing Act 2004 when he appeared before Luton magistrates yesterday. He was ordered to pay a total of £7,989.96 in fines, costs and surcharge.

The council’s housing solutions team found the flat’s fire detection and fire escape route were insufficient and unsafe.

The flat also lacked heating and had improper electrical installations, insufficient bathroom and kitchen facilities, and risks associated with the stairs.

Councillor Carole Hegley, who is responsible for housing at Central Beds Council, said afterwards: “Cases like these can be notoriously difficult to investigate and to bring to court, so I am delighted at this excellent result and that the landlord has been brought to justice.

“Residents who rent privately should be able to do so with confidence that the conditions do not present a hazard to their health and safety.

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“That is why we will continue to pursue landlords and managing agents who fail to rectify hazards, as well as those who fail to produce the correct legal documentation.”

After finding the serious hazards, housing solutions officers served a prohibition order on the flat in March 2017 – requiring it not to be occupied in its current state because of the problems identified.

When they reinspected the site in November last year, they found Karakoc had failed to comply with the prohibition order as the flat remained occupied – and the work required had not been done within the specified time.

Central Bedfordshire Council proceeded to prosecute him, with this hearing before magistrates coming as a result.

If you are worried about poor conditions in privately rented acccommodation, email or call 0300 300 8302.

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