'Profit Before Safety' 

The Community Protection Safer Housing Team has successfully prosecuted a rogue landlord for failing to comply with an Emergency Prohibition Order.

Notice was originally served on Matteo Mariano, of Ranmoor Road, Gedling in December 2014 for extensive housing disrepair, including an extremely dangerous staircase. A periodic review of the property on Sneinton Boulevard revealed that subsequently the property had been re-let to unsuspecting tenants who had already suffered accidents in the home and pest infestations.

Mr. Mariano, a professional landlord, completely ignored the notice given to him for his own financial gain, placing his tenants at the risk of harm.

The story has been more extensively covered by Rod Malcolm in the Nottingham Post (on line) 3 August 2016, see below:

... A landlord was handed a £2,681 bill for renting a chilly house where there was a risk of falling down the stairs.

He defied Nottingham City Council - which issued an order banning tenants from the property on Sneinton Boulevard, Nottingham Magistrates Court heard today.

Matteo Mariano, 50, was told by presiding magistrate David Crossley: "You got an income from it when it was in a state of ill repair, to say the least.

"You totally ignored the order. You are a very lucky man not to be facing very serious charges.

"It is fairly obvious the council are not happy with this property. You have not shown reasonable care and skill as a professional landlord of many properties.

"You should be aware of health and safety regulations covering these properties."

The two magistrates were told the council was contacted about the house on December 8, 2014, when a tenant said she had "no heating or hot water".

Sarah Mills, prosecuting, said: "An inspection was carried out and serious disrepair was found. There were two Category One hazards - the risk of falling downstairs and excess cold."

Officers promptly issued a prohibition notice which barred its use as rented accommodation.

But a year later, council tax records were checked and these revealed someone had moved in. It was then discovered that a tenant had contacted pest control asking for pigeons to be removed from the loft in September 2015.

No work had been done except for "very minor decorative improvement," said Mrs Mills.

"The staircase was saturated with water. There was no central heating system in the property, which was extremely damp and cold. The woman living there was not aware of the existence of the emergency prohibition order."

Thomas Bramall, for Mariano, described the council paperwork as "opaque" and told the magistrates: "It is many pages and says the house should not be used for residential purposes on the final page."

He said the council wanted a stud wall built around the stairs on the top floor to prevent people falling. Mariano had retread the stair carpets.

"The council have inspected the premises and have found there is not a damp issue and are happy with the premises. The council have indicated that things are better," said Mr Bramall.

He said the tenant had lodged a complaint against the local authority for taking action on December 23 and "effectively turfing her out before Christmas".

Until 2008, Mariano had more than 20 properties but suffered in the recession. His bank forced him to sell 18, leaving him "with four or five," added Mr Bramall. Mariano, of Ranmoor Road, Gedling, had never been in trouble before.

The magistrates were told the prohibition notice is still in force but Mariano was "starting to contact the council regarding works," said Mrs Mills.

Mariano was fined £1,325. He must pay the council's £1,075 investigation costs, £161 legal bill and a £120 government surcharge. He pleaded guilty to contravening an emergency prohibition notice by allowing the house to be used for residential purposes between October 15, 2015 and February 8 of this year. ...