An HMO landlord has had six flats taken over by his local council in a row over property management standards
Southend Council swooped on the flats alleging concerns about how the owner Steve Beechey, 66, was treating tenants.
However, Mr Beechey claims the council are taking an unnecessary strong line about some incomplete paperwork and is putting him in financial difficulty.
The Essex council claims the house in multiple occupation (HMO) containing six flats is the subject of an interim management order on the grounds Mr Beechey failed the fit and proper test to hold a licence for the property.
Mr Beechey also owns and lets around two dozen other homes in Southend. The council revealed other enforcement action is underway against Mr Beechey in respect of those properties as well.
A council spokesman said: ““The council has other enforcement action ongoing against other properties, particularly the enforcement of noncompliance with energy performance certificates.
“We are aware of the repair issues at the property which we inherited from the landlord.
“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we are having problems gaining access to the flats to undertake the necessary repair works.
“However, we will continue to contact residents in an effort to gain access to undertake the repair work needed.”
Mr Beechey explained the flats were seized when he declined to provide an electrical safety certificate for the property.
“I built up my portfolio over 25 years. My blood and sweat is in those buildings. I am the first to admit I am not the best with paperwork, but I run the properties well
“I have been swamped with letters requesting information within just five days.
“If you don’t meet the deadline, it’s a £600 fine per room. If that isn’t paid on time, there is another fine. I am looking at five figures.”