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Poor Living Conditions Cost Buy To Let Landlord £12.5k

Failing to improve the poor living conditions at his buy to let rental property has cost a landlord more than £12,500 in fines and costs after his prosecution.

The buy to let landlord based in Bedford, Mr Balwinder Singh Chandi, owns a property in Bedford Road, Marston Moretaine, a small village near Bedford.

Following a visit by council officers to the buy to let rental property, he was served with an Improvement Notice by Central Bedfordshire Council as a result of the poor living conditions found at the rental property.

However, the landlord did not make the necessary improvements within the timescale laid down by the council, and as a result of his failure to rectify the poor living conditions Central Bedfordshire Council decided to take the matter the matter further, resulting in a court date.

The council took the case to Luton Magistrates Court on 18 December 2018, where Mr Balwinder Singh Chandi pleaded guilty and received a fine of £10,000.

In addition to the large fine for failing to improve the poor living conditions at the HMO rental property, the landlord was forced to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and also ordered to pay costs of £2,356.33 – Therefore required to pay a total of £12,526.33.

Speaking after the court case, Cllr Carole Hegley, Executive Member for Adults, Social Care and Housing Operations at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: ‘Landlords of Houses in Multiple Occupation must apply for a licence, which is in place to ensure that tenants are safe.’

She continued: ‘Despite us requesting that improvements be made, the landlord carried on and has paid the price.”

Landlords who fail to apply for a licence for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) will be committing an offence which may result in a prosecution, criminal conviction and a large fine.

Source: Residential Landlord

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Gateshead Buy To Let Investment Landlord Fined £60k

A Gateshead buy to let investment landlord has been fined over £60,000 for failing to manage his rental property effectively and not complying with an improvement notice.

Regev Hazan, who is actually based in London but owns 26 properties in Gateshead, had failed to obtain the required licence to operate as a private landlord in the area.

One Gateshead property owned by Hazan was identified by Northumbria Police as a cannabis farm operated by a former tenant.

The discovery led to further investigations that suggested the property was operating as a house of multiple occupation (HMO) and Hazan was advised by the council how to better manage the property and offered training which he declined.

When the property was inspected again it was found to have multiple occupants, some of which had no tenancy agreement. The Gateshead property was also found to have defective heating, a lack of internal doors and lighting, lack of safety catches to windows and an inadequate fire detection system.

Hazan claimed that he was unaware of who the tenants were and how many were living at the property.

The landlord was charged with two offences under The Housing Act and prosecuted at South Tyneside Magistrate’s Court where he was fined £30,000 for failing to comply with the Improvement Notice, and a further £30,000 for being in breach of his landlord licence for ineffective management of the Gateshead property.

He was also required to pay a victim surcharge of £120 and ordered to pay costs of £1,200.

Gateshead’s cabinet member for housing, Cllr Malcolm Brain, said: ‘This was a huge fine, but the sentence was well-deserved. Whether Mr Hazan’s poor management of this property was intentional or it was simply as a result of his inadequacies as a property manager is irrelevant. What’s important is the fact he broke the law, repeatedly, and has been called to account.’

Source: Residential Landlord

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Barking Landlord Fined For Overcrowding Buy To Let Property

A Barking landlord has been fined for housing people in an overcrowded buy to let property which led to anti-social behavior.

Barking landlord Nazmul Haq received various complaints about his property which neighbours complained was overcrowded. The council’s enforcement team became aware of the issues and investigated the complaint. They found multiple people residing in the property despite it being licensed to hold just one family.

Haq claimed that the property was not being used as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) as he was not licensed for this. He claimed that the people inside his property were builders doing renovation work.

Council enforcement officers then made two visits to the property. They called the police after being refused entry. Following this, the police discovered that Haq was housing many more residents than declared on the licensing agreement.

Haq then failed to attend a police interview. As a result, the council decided to prosecute and revoke his licence.

Haq also did not attend when the case was first brought before Barkingside Magistrates Court on May 25, Haq.

In his absence he was told to pay £12,500 for breaching licensing conditions. He also incurred costs of £1,048 to Barking and Dagenham Council, as well as a £170 victim surcharge.

The council’s cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, Councillor Margaret Mullane, said: ‘This should serve as a strong warning to landlords in the borough that we will not tolerate anyone breaking the rules and we will take the strongest possible action. In this case the landlord clearly felt he would be able to bypass the system, but our enforcement team were firmly on the case and ensured he was brought to justice. I would urge any resident who feel properties could be overcrowded or are causing anti-social behaviour to get in touch with the council and make us aware.’

Source: Residential Landlord