Landlord must pay £20,000 court bill after Echo exposed him

Southend Standard: Landlord must pay £20,000 court bill after Echo exposed him Landlord must pay £20,000 court bill after Echo exposed him

A ROGUE landlord exposed by the Echo for renting a death trap former hotel to vulnerable tenants has been ordered to pay nearly £20,000 in fines and costs.

Alfred Katona, 75, of ChadwickRoad, Westcliff, was sentence after admitting a string of offences at Southend Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard he put the health and safety of four tenants at risk by allowing a converted Victorian house in Station Road, Westcliff, to deteriorate so badly social services had to move them out.

Despite renting out several properties in Westcliff for about 30 years, Katona claimed he was oblivious to his legal obligations as a private landlord.

Speaking after the hearing, Southend Council enforcement officer David Colwill said “Conditions were totally unacceptable and posed a significant threat to the safety of tenants.

“Landlords have a clear duty to inform themselves of the full extent of their responsibilities.

“As a result of intelligence gained, the remainder of Mr Katona’s property portfolio is now also subject to inspections.”

The court heard electrical wiring in the property was so badly installed and maintained it was a fire hazard.

A fire escape in the basement was rammed full of junk and padlocked shut, while corridors and hallways were also blocked.

Smoke alarms were defective and fire extinguishers were not properly stored.

Inspectors found bodged repairs throughout the three-storey property, including toilets and water tanks balanced on lumps of wood, ill-fitting skylights and a loose manhole cover, which let in rats.

Katona admitted five offences under housing management regulations.

Magistrates wanted to impose the maximum £25,000 fine on him, but reduced this, as he pleaded guilty early, saving court time.

They voiced particular concern about the padlocked fire escape, problems with fire extinguishers, poor electrical wiring near a shower and damaged electrical sockets.

Katona was fined £3,700 for each offence, and ordered to pay £1,005 costs and a £120 victim surcharge. He was ordered to pay the total sum – £19,625 – more or less there and then.

Katona apologised to the court, but blamed tenants for the poor condition of the property. He admitted he only carried out repairs if a tenant complained and claimed to have no knowledge of housing regulations.

After the hearing, one former tenant, who did not want to be named, said: “The place was the worst I have ever stayed in and he was a terrible landlord.”

Comments (8)

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9:56am Mon 16 Dec 13

beaulocks says...

You just cant help but feel sorry for him can you?

Poor fella, 20k!!!!
You just cant help but feel sorry for him can you? Poor fella, 20k!!!! beaulocks

10:06am Mon 16 Dec 13

InTheKnowOk says...

Great news!!
Great news!! InTheKnowOk

12:17pm Mon 16 Dec 13

reg reg says...

beaulocks wrote:
You just cant help but feel sorry for him can you?

Poor fella, 20k!!!!
20 k ?
hes had that in 1 month from the council (well us) really
feel sorry for him ?
big 6 bed house nice part of town
look at what he lets out
we call people who find themselves unemployed say 40 - 50 break up in the family ( homeless) and this is what is on offer ?
then they are called parasites by bigots

SCUM-BAG LANDLORDS ARE THE PARASITES OF THIS WORLD
[quote][p][bold]beaulocks[/bold] wrote: You just cant help but feel sorry for him can you? Poor fella, 20k!!!![/p][/quote]20 k ? hes had that in 1 month from the council (well us) really feel sorry for him ? big 6 bed house nice part of town look at what he lets out we call people who find themselves unemployed say 40 - 50 break up in the family ( homeless) and this is what is on offer ? then they are called parasites by bigots SCUM-BAG LANDLORDS ARE THE PARASITES OF THIS WORLD reg reg

12:39pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

He own 8 large properties in Station Road and Britannia Road, all let as flats
He own 8 large properties in Station Road and Britannia Road, all let as flats Nowthatsworthknowing

8:33pm Mon 16 Dec 13

beaulocks says...

20k

I feel for you mr katona, they should have started with £100 fine and educate you but that's a council that's behind on its bills for ya.
20k I feel for you mr katona, they should have started with £100 fine and educate you but that's a council that's behind on its bills for ya. beaulocks

8:37pm Mon 16 Dec 13

beaulocks says...

reg reg wrote:
beaulocks wrote:
You just cant help but feel sorry for him can you?

Poor fella, 20k!!!!
20 k ?
hes had that in 1 month from the council (well us) really
feel sorry for him ?
big 6 bed house nice part of town
look at what he lets out
we call people who find themselves unemployed say 40 - 50 break up in the family ( homeless) and this is what is on offer ?
then they are called parasites by bigots

SCUM-BAG LANDLORDS ARE THE PARASITES OF THIS WORLD
Maybe he has but do you think it's been an easy 20k in a month with these tenants. Do you think all their rent was paid on the 1st and any minor repairs they fixed themselves?

You have never been a landlord I can tell.
[quote][p][bold]reg reg[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]beaulocks[/bold] wrote: You just cant help but feel sorry for him can you? Poor fella, 20k!!!![/p][/quote]20 k ? hes had that in 1 month from the council (well us) really feel sorry for him ? big 6 bed house nice part of town look at what he lets out we call people who find themselves unemployed say 40 - 50 break up in the family ( homeless) and this is what is on offer ? then they are called parasites by bigots SCUM-BAG LANDLORDS ARE THE PARASITES OF THIS WORLD[/p][/quote]Maybe he has but do you think it's been an easy 20k in a month with these tenants. Do you think all their rent was paid on the 1st and any minor repairs they fixed themselves? You have never been a landlord I can tell. beaulocks

9:13pm Mon 16 Dec 13

reg reg says...

beaulocks wrote:
reg reg wrote:
beaulocks wrote:
You just cant help but feel sorry for him can you?

Poor fella, 20k!!!!
20 k ?
hes had that in 1 month from the council (well us) really
feel sorry for him ?
big 6 bed house nice part of town
look at what he lets out
we call people who find themselves unemployed say 40 - 50 break up in the family ( homeless) and this is what is on offer ?
then they are called parasites by bigots

SCUM-BAG LANDLORDS ARE THE PARASITES OF THIS WORLD
Maybe he has but do you think it's been an easy 20k in a month with these tenants. Do you think all their rent was paid on the 1st and any minor repairs they fixed themselves?

You have never been a landlord I can tell.
can you really tell i have never been a land lord? can you ?
listen pall i know this (rats nest) letting bloke
he owns loads of these and i know a lot of skanking gaffs around this town been house bashing here all my life his are the worst
these have been paid for 20 times over from the local fund
90% are dss
20 grand
these are real bad these gaffs and you can tell hes first one to get whacked fore it .
i know and work for & with the best and worst of this businesses
from scumbag landlords to English heritage
do your self a favour have a day off
[quote][p][bold]beaulocks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]reg reg[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]beaulocks[/bold] wrote: You just cant help but feel sorry for him can you? Poor fella, 20k!!!![/p][/quote]20 k ? hes had that in 1 month from the council (well us) really feel sorry for him ? big 6 bed house nice part of town look at what he lets out we call people who find themselves unemployed say 40 - 50 break up in the family ( homeless) and this is what is on offer ? then they are called parasites by bigots SCUM-BAG LANDLORDS ARE THE PARASITES OF THIS WORLD[/p][/quote]Maybe he has but do you think it's been an easy 20k in a month with these tenants. Do you think all their rent was paid on the 1st and any minor repairs they fixed themselves? You have never been a landlord I can tell.[/p][/quote]can you really tell i have never been a land lord? can you ? listen pall i know this (rats nest) letting bloke he owns loads of these and i know a lot of skanking gaffs around this town been house bashing here all my life his are the worst these have been paid for 20 times over from the local fund 90% are dss 20 grand these are real bad these gaffs and you can tell hes first one to get whacked fore it . i know and work for & with the best and worst of this businesses from scumbag landlords to English heritage do your self a favour have a day off reg reg

10:47pm Tue 17 Dec 13

beaulocks says...

reg reg wrote:
beaulocks wrote:
reg reg wrote:
beaulocks wrote:
You just cant help but feel sorry for him can you?

Poor fella, 20k!!!!
20 k ?
hes had that in 1 month from the council (well us) really
feel sorry for him ?
big 6 bed house nice part of town
look at what he lets out
we call people who find themselves unemployed say 40 - 50 break up in the family ( homeless) and this is what is on offer ?
then they are called parasites by bigots

SCUM-BAG LANDLORDS ARE THE PARASITES OF THIS WORLD
Maybe he has but do you think it's been an easy 20k in a month with these tenants. Do you think all their rent was paid on the 1st and any minor repairs they fixed themselves?

You have never been a landlord I can tell.
can you really tell i have never been a land lord? can you ?
listen pall i know this (rats nest) letting bloke
he owns loads of these and i know a lot of skanking gaffs around this town been house bashing here all my life his are the worst
these have been paid for 20 times over from the local fund
90% are dss
20 grand
these are real bad these gaffs and you can tell hes first one to get whacked fore it .
i know and work for & with the best and worst of this businesses
from scumbag landlords to English heritage
do your self a favour have a day off
Rent off someone else then reg your jealous so leave him alone.

I wish I could have a day off reg but but I gotta collect rent that was due on the 1st.
[quote][p][bold]reg reg[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]beaulocks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]reg reg[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]beaulocks[/bold] wrote: You just cant help but feel sorry for him can you? Poor fella, 20k!!!![/p][/quote]20 k ? hes had that in 1 month from the council (well us) really feel sorry for him ? big 6 bed house nice part of town look at what he lets out we call people who find themselves unemployed say 40 - 50 break up in the family ( homeless) and this is what is on offer ? then they are called parasites by bigots SCUM-BAG LANDLORDS ARE THE PARASITES OF THIS WORLD[/p][/quote]Maybe he has but do you think it's been an easy 20k in a month with these tenants. Do you think all their rent was paid on the 1st and any minor repairs they fixed themselves? You have never been a landlord I can tell.[/p][/quote]can you really tell i have never been a land lord? can you ? listen pall i know this (rats nest) letting bloke he owns loads of these and i know a lot of skanking gaffs around this town been house bashing here all my life his are the worst these have been paid for 20 times over from the local fund 90% are dss 20 grand these are real bad these gaffs and you can tell hes first one to get whacked fore it . i know and work for & with the best and worst of this businesses from scumbag landlords to English heritage do your self a favour have a day off[/p][/quote]Rent off someone else then reg your jealous so leave him alone. I wish I could have a day off reg but but I gotta collect rent that was due on the 1st. beaulocks

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