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'Broke' landlord may be jailed

PUBLISHED: 08:31 14 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:45 03 July 2010

THE landlord of two Great Yarmouth properties was facing possible jail last night for continuing to breach health and safety regulations.

Madhu Bhajanehatti, 34, was told he could go to prison because he had not produced evidence that gas boilers were safe in the flats he rented out.

THE landlord of two Great Yarmouth properties was facing possible jail last night for continuing to breach health and safety regulations.

Madhu Bhajanehatti, 34, was told he could go to prison because he had not produced evidence that gas boilers were safe in the flats he rented out.

In October, Bhajanehatti was fined £24,840 when he put tenants at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning after he failed to provide a written record of Corgi-registered checks for gas heaters.

Yesterday, he stood in the dock again at Yarmouth Magistrates' Court as he admitted failing to comply with a court order to inspect and do work on boilers in the flats at Wellington Road and Britannia Road since last year's hearing. Checks are required by the Health and Safety Executive to try to avert the deaths of 30 people a year from faulty boilers.

The court heard that Bhajanehatti, from Keston, Kent, had not complied with the court order as he could not afford the £1,900 for the checks because of the economic downturn.

Geoffrey Knipe, prosecuting, said: “These details have still not been supplied. No information has been received. There is potential for these appliances to have become dangerous; we just don't know.”

The executive originally asked Bhajanehatti to produce the boiler documents in February 2007, and after he failed continually to reply to its correspondence he was taken to court last October.

At the time he pleaded guilty to 12 counts of failing to supply the information and was fined £24,840 and told to pay costs of £13,481.

In December 2007, Bhajanehatti sold 10 of his flats for £950,000, but he is still responsible for two flats that are unoccupied at present.

His solicitor, Ross Burrows, said it would cost £1,900 to inspect and make sure the boilers were safe in the remaining flats, but the work could not be done immediately as Bhajane-hatti was broke. Mr Burrows said: “He absolutely has no money whatsoever; he is struggling financially. He effectively has no income whatsoever. It is not someone trying to shy away from his responsibilities.”

The bench was told Bhajanehatti had asked for more time to do the checks but it said his offences were so serious that he faced the strong possibility of being jailed. Chairman Mike Powles said: “It was a very serious threat of injury to others. This brings us to the custody threshold.”

Bhajanehatti was granted conditional bail until February 6, when he will be sentenced.


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