A landlord has failed in a bid to overturn his banning order on the grounds that his previous convictions were spent by the time his later ban was imposed by a First Tier Property Tribunal.
Jahangir Hussain appealed against the three-year ban after he was found guilty of renting out an unlicensed HMO in Wanstead, North London (pictured) during 2021, along with six other offences relating to housing standards and safety breaches. He was fined £10,000 for the offences which took place in 2018.
Government non-statutory guidance regarding banning orders states that a spent conviction should not be taken into account when determining whether to apply for or make a banning order.
The Upper Tribunal also heard that the Court of Appeal had said evidence of spent convictions was inadmissible but that evidence of the circumstances surrounding those convictions could be adduced (added) and that a local housing authority is a ‘judicial authority’ when considering whether to grant an HMO licence.
It established that his six convictions were not spent when Newham Council served notice in March 2022, or when it applied to the First Tier Tribunal for a banning order in May 2022, but were spent when the tribunal heard the application in November 2022 and issued its decision in February this year.
The Upper Tribunal ruled that the council was entitled to take Hussain’s spent convictions into account when imposing the order. Judge Elizabeth Cooke said the non-statutory guidance was not binding on the tribunal.
She said: “I fail to see any irrationality. The FTT was entitled to take it into account and was entitled nevertheless to admit the evidence of spent convictions and therefore to open up the possibility of a banning order being made on the basis of such convictions despite what the guidance said.”
Councillor Shaban Mohammed, Cabinet Member for Housing Services adds: “This Banning Order is a first for Newham and a landmark case in our campaign against rogue landlord and to protect the rights of Newham residents living in the private rented sector. We mean what we say, when tackling the scourge of rouge landlords who think they are above the law.
They aren’t and we’ll track down any landlord who tries to circumvent the rules that are there to protect our residents and their housing rights. We have very clear guidelines, information and support available for private landlords in Newham so that they can operate their businesses while also supporting the welfare of their tenants.
Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE (pictured), says:, “Mr Hussain has shown flagrant disregard of both housing and planning legislation, to the detriment of both his tenants and residents of the borough. Combined actions from across our Council shows that we are will do whatever it takes to protect the interests of our residents.
"This major milestone sends a message loud and clear that rogue landlords have no place in Newham. It’s all part of our campaign to protect renters rights, including calling for an end to no-fault evictions and introducing rent caps.”
Picture credit: Google Streetview