A landlord in Reading has been hit with a hefty fine of £20,000, along with £3,343 costs after being taken to court for poor management of an HMO.
Hafiz Mohammed Gulfraz was prosecuted by Reading Borough Council after admitting to having control of a HMO without a licence, breach of an emergency prohibition order, and intentionally disrupting the gas and electricity supply to the property, as well as a string of safety breaches.
In total, there were twelve offences brought against Mr Gulfraz, including failing to ensure that the fire alarm and emergency lighting were maintained in good working order and intentionally depriving tenants of heat and light supply at the Reading-based property.
Tenants living at the property contacted the council when they became unhappy with the way they were being treated by their landlord, and investigations into the case by Reading Borough Council’s private sector housing team began in January 2015.
The council believed that the five tenants were at risk of harm is they continued to remain in the property, so an emergency prohibition order was served. Magistrates said that the case was one of the worst they had ever dealt with.
There is no doubt that Mr Gulfraz was very much on the wrong side of landlord law, and it is a very positive step towards ‘cleaning up lettings’ that he has been brought to justice.
Landlord law can be confusing (although there is never any excuse for intentionally leaving your paying tenants without gas and electricity!), so why not test yourself and see if you know your rental rights from wrongs with our ‘Are you a Legal Landlord’quiz!
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