A York landlord who has four letting properties in the city has been told that he could go to jail unless he pays his £42,000 council tax debt.
Ahmed Karbani has run up the arrears over the past seven years and has also broken tenancy laws because he let a room without providing the appropriate facilities.
York magistrates were told by prosecutor Andrea Barker that City of York Council had banned Mr Karbani from letting the room because the property did not meet the regulations for a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
But he went ahead and took on a tenant for the room and claimed housing benefit as the landlord, the court heard.
The exact amount of council tax owed was £42,229.55, magistrates were told.
Mr Karbani pleaded guilty to breach of a prohibition order made under housing legislation and it was revealed that he has entered an agreement with the council to pay the council tax arrears at a rate of £200 per week. He will also remortgage one of his properties in order to raise a lump sum of £22,000, which will be paid to the council by March 21.
Magistrates jailed Karbani, suspended for three months, meaning that if he does not pay the lump sum and the weekly instalments he could be sent to jail. A conditional discharge for 12 months was also issued, plus a £15 victim surcharge for the housing law offence.
Karbani’s lawyer said that his client has “suffered greatly” because he is the only person in the family able to handle their properties and has had difficulty with one tenant who has taken nine years to evict.