A landlord has been fined £30,000 after 17 people were found living in a four-bedroom property.

Jubayer Rimon and his company Ambreen Properties were operating as a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) without the required licence in a terraced property in Mere Street, Diss.

An investigation involving Norfolk police, the local housing department and government agencies took place over four months.

In December, the council and police discovered 17 people staying at the property, with some sleeping on mattresses on the floor.

Two occupiers requested to be removed due to the fear of being exploited and were taken into the care of the police.

Despite legal notices, the problem continued, and spot checks revealed overcrowding, putting the occupants’ health, safety and well-being at risk.

Rimon and Ambreen Properties were both found guilty of failing to licence a HMO and breaches of management regulations in respect of HMOs.

In January, four civil penalties were served to both the company and its owner.

These were challenged and a legal process was undertaken, resulting in all four offences being secured in South Norfolk District Council’s favour and a total fine of £30,000.

South Norfolk councillor Graham Minshull said: “HMOs when run responsibly offer much needed low-cost and safe accommodation for residents.

"However, this property was not built for multiple occupations and there were clear safety issues including overcrowding, fire risks and use of limited facilities.

“Tenants in illegal HMOs can be vulnerable and open to exploitation by rogue landlords."