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Sing Quang Tran failed to make safety improvements to employees’ accommodation above Hereford takeaway

Herefordshire Council has won an enforcement case against a takeaway business owner who failed to improve the safety of the poor quality housing he provided to his employees.

The case was taken to Hereford Magistrates’ Court by Herefordshire Council’s Environmental Health Housing Service on Tuesday 5 March 2019. Mr Sing Quang Tran, 66, of Ruby Chinese takeaway on Union Street Hereford, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an emergency prohibition order.

In April 2018, officers from Herefordshire Council's Environmental Health service, West Mercia Police, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and immigration officials undertook a multi-agency targeted enforcement operation on Mr Tran’s property. An emergency prohibition order was served due to a lack of appropriate fire safety measures throughout the property and prison-like bars over the windows in the workers’ accommodation above the takeaway. Had there been a fire, there would be no escape for the tenants.

When officers returned in June to check compliance with the order, they found a man sleeping in a small pantry with bars on the window that was totally unsuitable as bedroom accommodation. The terms of the emergency prohibition order had therefore been breached as Mr Tran allowed a tenant to continue to live at the unsafe property.

Mr Tran was ordered to pay a fine of £5000, costs of £2214.24 and a victim surcharge of £170. Mr Tran’s fines and costs was reduced from £9884 due to his guilty plea.    

Charles Yarnold, Environmental Health Service Manager for Herefordshire Council, said:

“Herefordshire Council takes housing crime seriously. This result sends a clear message to other criminal housing landlords that we will continue to protect tenants’ safety - and the livelihood of our honest and decent housing landlords - by ensuring criminal landlords are brought to justice.”

Published: Friday, 15th March 2019