Tenants lives put at risk by landlord in shared house

A landlord has been fined after putting the lives of his tenants at risk.

Nasir Bashir Ali was prosecuted by housing officials for safety breaches linked to a shared house he owns in Hinckley.

Officials became aware of the issues following a routine inspection of the licensed premises.

Ali admitted 10 offences when he appeared before Leicester Magistrates after failing to meet conditions of the licence to run a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

 

The offences included failing to maintain a working fire alarm system and providing certification of its proper maintenance. Officers also identified defective fire doors.

 

Ali was fined £2,780 for the offences and full costs of £1,961 were awarded to the prosecuting authority Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council.

 

He was also ordered to pay victim surcharge of £170.

Solicitor struck off for overcharging by thousands on probate matters

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has struck off a solicitor who was found to have ‘deliberately and excessively’ overcharged clients.

According to the Law Gazette, Keith Smart, was working as a sole practitioner at south Wales firm Keith Smart & Co when he misused client funds.

Smart has admitted to eight counts of dishonesty.

 

The Law Gazette reported that the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) told the tribunal that Smart failed to have properly written up books of accounts, made or permitted round sum transfers of at least £128,000 on account of the firm’s costs, and caused or allowed debit balances to exist on client accounts.

The SRA also alleged that Smart overcharged several of his clients, in one instance by a minimum of £70,765, and tried to mislead investigators looking into his conduct.

The tribunal judgment said: ‘[Smart] had admitted eight counts of dishonesty. His misconduct was assessed as very serious. He had deliberately and excessively overcharged clients. He also deliberately misled the [SRA] both during his interview and in writing.

‘The tribunal considered that given the serious nature of the allegations admitted, the only appropriate and proportionate sanction was to strike the respondent from the roll.’

Smart was ordered to pay costs of £20,151.64.

Increase in first-time buyer home lending

Lending to first time buyers is up in the first quarter of 2019, according to figures from UK Finance.
In Scotland there were 6,760 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in Scotland, a 4.5% increase from the same quarter last year.
Furthermore, there were 6,620 new home mover mortgages, an increase of 6.6%.
The figures also found that there were 9,670 new home owner remortgages completed in Scotland, the highest volume of remortgaging in Scotland in a decade.
There were 3,450 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in Wales, a rise of 1.2%.
In Northern Ireland there were 2,440 new first-time buyer mortgages completed, an increase of 11.4%.
There were 9,410 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in London, a rise of 1.6%.

Letting agency accused of ‘locking out tenants’

A letting agency has been accused of illegally evicting tenants and taking their belongings.
According to the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, three tenants, who rented rooms through Flintons, said they arrived home to find locks had been changed and rooms emptied.
Some said their possessions had not yet been returned. Others said their belongings were given back in bin bags, left on the street outside the agency.
Flintons, in east London, said it “strongly denies” the claims.
As reported by the BBC, one man who rented a room, through Flintons, said he was charged extra fees for late payment of rent, which he disputes and was in discussions with Flintons to resolve.
He further claims that in December 2018, he arrived home to find the key to his room would not work. After a locksmith eventually let him in, he said his room was empty, and alleges that Flintons had taken his clothes, towels and even his passport.
Flintons disputes that Julius was locked out of his room or that his possessions were removed.
Flintons further said it will “vigorously defend” any legal claim.