A landlord who is serving a two-year prison sentence for tax evasion has been fined £3,000 for overcrowding a flat.

Stratos Efstratiou, 54, admitted allowing a family of four to live in the flat in Folkestone Road, Dover, breaching a prohibition order which limited it to one tenant.

He had allowed the overcrowding despite being fined in 2014 for the same offence.

Dover District Council served a prohibition order in August 2013 to limit the number of occupants in the flat and forbidding the use of one of the rooms as a bedroom.

But in 2019, officers discovered the flat was being rented out to a couple with children and further enquiries revealed that it was still overcrowded, and the small room was being used as a bedroom.

Folkestone Magistrates Court fined Efstratiou, who was also ordered to pay £150 costs and a £181 victim surcharge.

In March, Efstratiou admitted four counts of fraud at Canterbury Crown Court. HMRC investigators discovered he had pocketed more than £58,000 in unpaid tax on 26 rental properties between 2010 and 2015 by faking invoices for non-existent repairs and maintenance work.

Councillor Nicholas Kenton (pictured), Dover Council’s cabinet member for regulatory services, says: “We continue to work hard to ensure that private sector residents are living in accommodation that is well maintained, safe and warm.

“We take robust legal action where landlords fail to comply with the regulations and their obligations.”

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