A Rotherham landlord has been fined over £13,000 for failing to maintain a house containing several flats.
Mohammed Tariq, was prosecuted after officers from the Council found that one of his rented properties in Rotherham was in a poor state of disrepair.
Rotherham Magistrates Court heard last month (Wednesday, February 25) that Environmental Health Officers from the authority visited the property in December 2013, after a tenant complained that she did not have access to hot water or central heating as the landlord had disconnected the boiler.
The officers found numerous contraventions to the Housing Act 2004 and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006, including:
- A complete absence of working fire detection to the property
- The landlord had failed to maintain all fire fighting equipment
- The property had been poorly converted and was substandard, allowing fire and smoke to spread quickly throughout the property
- The landlord had failed to maintain the gas and electrical systems to the property, failing to provide the Council with the necessary gas and electrical test certificates when requested
- The entire property was suffering from severe damp and black mould
Due to the nature of the defects Environmental Health Officers immediately took action as there was an imminent risk of harm to the health of people living there. All the tenants were re-housed by the authority.
Tariq, of Rotherham, pleaded guilty to offences under the Housing Act 2004 and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006.
In mitigation, the court heard the defendant was not an experienced landlord only having two houses that he rents out – his main occupation is that he runs a shop.
Tariq purchased the premises in April 2011 but as he could not find anyone to let it, the property remained empty for 18 months.
Tariq leased the entire property to another man on a five-year lease but due to non-payment of rent the property was eventually returned to him and he took over the running of the premises and the requirement of a HMO was an oversight on his part.
The case came to light after the faulty boiler revealed the failings at the property despite the previous lease holder assuring him that the electrical and gas safety certificates had been granted.
Fortunately, no actual harm came to anyone but the court heard that being a landlord was an enterprise that Tariq had not entered into before and does not wish to get involved in again.
The magistrates imposed fines totalling £13,500 and ordered Tariq to pay the Council’s costs of £950, with a Victim Surcharge of £120.
I this would not have happened if he had used an estate agent. An expensive mistake.