A property agency and its boss have been fined more than £90,000 for numerous safety failings at a house in Hertfordshire.
Faraz Bucha and his company Captain Solutions were both found guilty of 27 charges in relation to the property at 18, The Runway in Hatfield during a hearing at St Albans Magistrate’s Court.
Despite the slick logo for Captain Solutions, which offers accommodation, taxi and cleaning services, the Hatfield property was found by council officers to be in a poor state of repair including inadequate fire alarms, lighting, fire doors and blocked escape routes.
The property’s bathroom was in a particularly poor state of repair while its main fuse box was damaged.
Bucha and his company had ignored requests by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to make improvements to the property.
The court heard that fire regulations were ‘wilfully and negligently’ ignored over a considerable period.
Passing sentence, the court issued a fine of £1,500 for each charge, leading to a total fine for both properties of £81,000 and legal costs of £9,538, the Welwyn Hatfield Times reports.
“The court served a record fine for our borough, rightly reflecting the seriousness of Bucha’s negligence in putting people’s lives at risk,” the council’s corporate director Simone Russell (pictured).
“The vast majority of landlords work together with us to resolve issues, but Mr Bucha ignored our advice and warnings, giving us no other choice but to launch formal proceedings.”
A second property run by Bucha and his firm is subject to ongoing proceedings.