A Dudley, Birmingham landlord have been fined a total of £151,070 by Wolverhampton Magistrates Court for three breaches of an Emergency Prohibition Order, served on him in relation to a house of multiple occupation (HMO).
Landlord Latif Rehman of Lordswood Road, Birmingham, who has a chequered history when it comes to letting property, failed to respond to several notices requiring him to attend to safety defects in his HMO property.
Council officials had originally inspected the three-storey, four-bedroom property in Cole Street, Netherton, after one of Mr Rehman’s tenants complained to the Council last February.
The official visit revealed numerous hazards relating to the general security of the building from intruders, and fire and electrical safety risks. The officers deemed that these defects posed an imminent risk to the safety of the building’s occupants.
Notice was served following the visits, but a re-inspection in April found that whatever works had been carried out were insufficient to rectify the safety risks. Fire doors in the property still failed to comply with regulations, access to the property was not secure and damp was still present in parts of the property.
Dudley Council’s private sector housing team pursued the case to court with support from the Council’s legal services team.
On November 7 Mr Rehman was fined £50,000 for each offence and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs and £170 victim surcharge.
Alan Lunt, deputy chief executive at Dudley Council, told Hereford Times:
“Landlords are not above the law. They must comply with standards to fulfil their legal responsibility to protect the safety of their tenants.
“This case demonstrates that we take these cases very seriously and will take action against anyone failing to fulfil their obligation.”
Dudley Council are now now considering applying for a rent repayment order and a banning order against Rehman, who two years ago was ordered to pay in excess of £340,000 after illegally converting houses into bedsits.