Landlords and letting agents have figured in the courts again – with record fines for one house in multiple occupation (HMO) property investor.
Rana Irfan and his wife Naheed, of Ilford, Essex, were fined a total of £66,000 at Snaresbrook Crown Court for illegally converting a house into five flats and breaking HMO licensing and management rules.
The court heard the house had defective electrics, water leaks, unprotected escape routes, and no fire alarm. The fine is the highest ever given against a landlord in the Ilford area.
Other landlords in court recently include:
Raymond Manning, who breached HMO management rules with a house in Stafford without a fire door for the kitchen, over loaded electrical sockets, no effective smoke detectors and failing to carry out gas safety checks.
Stafford magistrates fined him £2,240, ordered him to pay costs of £1,969.
Mohammed Wahid, 41, and Mohammed Ahmed, 40, of Reading, admitted running an unlicensed HMO at Reading Magistrates Court.
They were fined £4,000 each and ordered to pay £1,134 in costs.
Wolverhampton magistrates fined HMO landlord Ranjeev Sahota £14,000 with £3,823 costs after hearing his HMO was a danger to tenants due to faulty electric wiring and a rat infestation.
Sahota was found guilty in his absence of breaching an emergency prohibition order, failing to comply with an improvement notice, and offences of failing to supply documents to the council.
Also at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court, but in a separate hearing, letting agent KSS Properties Ltd was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £789 costs after failing to disclose ownership of an HMO where the council feared gas electricity hazards were a danger to tenants.
Letting agent MT Properties Central Ltd of Small Heath, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to breaching gas safety rules and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £957 by Birmingham magistrates.
Landlord Ghulam Ljaz and letting agent UK Legal Estates Ltd, of Sheffield, were fined for HMO management offences by magistrates – Liaz must pay £1,000 with £1,073 costs, while the letting agent was fined £2,000.
In a separate case at Sheffield Magistrates Court, Shamim Ali faced a charge of harassing tenants and was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £808 costs.