A borough council has issued its highest ever fine to a landlord after he refused to get a licence for his HMO and was later found to have committed 33 offences.

Zaheer Uddin Babar, who owns a property at 60 Colwyn Road in Northampton (main pic), was initially contacted by the city’s private sector housing enforcement team in March 2015 and told to apply for an HMO licence.

But Babar unwisely ignored the requests and the property inspected under warrant in June 2019 where multiple breaches of regulations were uncovered.

Among the most serious hazards found at the property in Colwyn Road were missing handrails and banisters on staircases, a partially collapsed and waterlogged ceiling (pictured, above), a faulty fire alarm and fire door and exposed electrical wires.

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Damp and mould

Other included broken external door locks, faulty windows, along with damp and mould, while the kitchen and bathroom were filthy and in a poor state of repair.

Councillor Stephen Hibbert, Cabinet member for housing and wellbeing at Northampton Borough Council (pictured, below), said: “The conditions in this property were squalid and hazardous, and posed a real danger to the tenants living there.

“Landlords have a legal responsibility to ensure that properties are clean, safe and in working order for their tenants, and our Housing Enforcement Team will continue to take action against such failings, through their extensive surveillance work and information received from local residents.”

Babar appealed to the First Tier Tribunal which upheld his £50,500 penalties, which he now has a month to pay. Failure to pay will result in the Council taking action to recoup the debt, which may include enforced sale of his property.

Read more: Renting HMO properties.


  1. Goodness – didn’t the council do well? Tenants only had to put up with the dreadful conditions for 4 years before action was taken!


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