Landlord fined £14,900 for abandoning hotel

A landlord who did not repair a decaying former hotel has been fined £14,900.

Teeside Magistrates’ Court found Rajesh Kumar Gupta guilty of failing to repair roofing and guttering at the former Royal Hotel, in Loftus. He had been ordered to make the repairs repetitively by Redcar and Cleveland Council.


Gupta did not attend court and was convicted in his absence.


Andrew White, prosecuting on behalf of Redcar and Cleveland Council, said, “He was given ample warning but, unfortunately, it did not have the desired effect.”


Gupta was ordered to repair or replace the guttering and the boarding on the windows. He was further told to paint the boards to match the colour of the building, replace missing roof and ridge tiles, remove waste, litter and vegetation from the land, replace the main door frame and steps and repair all the window sills.


Gupta was subsequently ordered to pay the maximum £100 fine for every day he’d failed to carry out the repairs which came to a total of £14,900 with a victim surcharge of £170 and court costs of £408.98 – a total of £15,478,98.

Landlord taken to court over boiler and oven

A Hyndburn landlord has been given a suspended prison sentence after failing to check an unsafe boiler and gas.

Steven Ladell, from Great Harwood, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after serious faults were uncovered at a house in King’s Lynn last year.

One of his tenants had approached housing standards officials at King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Council, complaining about the state of his boiler and oven.

HSE inspectors found the boiler and oven to be in a poor state of repair and to be unsafe.

Ladell was brought to court after he failed to provide any paperwork showing routine safety checks and servicing had been undertaken.

Ladell pleaded guilty to breaching gas safety regulations and to breaching an improvement notice.

He was given a 20-week prison sentence by magistrates, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 100 hours community service.

Ladell was further ordered to pay court costs of £4,146.




Landlord banned from renting after forcing tenants to live dangerous conditions

A landlord has been banned from renting out rooms after he took advantage of vulnerable tenants.

Robert Crow, 69, is accused of letting his tenants live in filthy and dangerous conditions and failing to carry out basic maintenance.

The court heard water was left leaking through lights and tenants lived with an insanitary kitchen and tiny bedrooms filled with hoarded rubbish.

One of Crow’s tenants was forced to wash at a homeless centre because the bath and shower facilities at his own home were coated in filth.

The court heard Crow was the subject of a number of complaints by residents over several years.

Southend Magistrates found Crow guilty of 18 offences relating to the dangerous, insanitary and substandard conditions of the property.

He was fined £36,000, ordered to pay costs of £7,865.10 and a victim surcharge of £170.

He was also served a Criminal Behaviour Order preventing anyone from entering the property other than himself and his immediate family.




Landlord ordered to pay almost £40k over ‘worst property seen in ten years’

A landlord has been ordered to pay almost £40,000 over a series of safety breaches at his flats in Birmingham, described as the worst property seen by inspectors in a decade.

Birmingham city council said David Greene, 64, showed “callous disregard” for his responsibilities at the property, which was converted into ten flats.

Offences included broken, boarded-up windows, smoke detectors hanging off the ceilings, ill-fitting fire doors and blocked fire escapes.

Tenants had no access to hot water or heating.

Greene was contacted regularly by Birmingham City Council  to resolve the poor conditions.

He admitted the offences at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court and was fined £35,000 and ordered to pay £1,941 costs and a victim surcharge of £170.





Landlord fined after failing to improve property

A landlord has been convicted after neglecting his property in Norwich.

Measures were taken against Nicholas Ian Shaw, 47, by Cheshire West and Chester Council after complaints from a tenant.

The flat was being rented by a family which included two young children under the age of five at the time.

Mr Shaw was asked several times to replace single-glazed windows, repair a front door that could not close, improve insufficient loft insulation and fix problems with mould in the bathroom of the property.

The council’s regulatory services officers repeatedly contacted Mr Shaw to resolve a number of problems but he failed to take all the action necessary to improve the safety or cleanliness of his property.

Mr Shaw was fined £1,500 in West Cheshire Magistrates’ Court following his failure to comply with an improvement notice served under the Housing Act 2004.

Costs of £875 and a victim surcharge of £120 increased Shaw’s court bill to £2,495.


Landlord fined £20,000 after house fire

A landlord was fined £20,000 after admitting he put the lives of five residents at risk.

Residents became trapped upstairs during a fire in Worthing last year, weeks after their landlord was told their fire alarm did not work.

The judge said Terry Millis, 62, had a ‘high level’ of culpability and fined him £20,000 for ‘failures’ in the lead up to the fire.

The court heard Millis had contacted a company to repair the fire alarm two months before the fire, but the work had not been done.

Sentencing him, district judge Tessa Szagun said Millis had a ‘high level’ of culpability.

She said, “The purpose of sentencing in this type of case is to protect the safety of individuals living in such premises by ensuring that there is no financial gain by any person cutting corners.

“(There is) also a necessity to deter others from doing so.”

Millis was fined £20,000, reduced from £30,000 by his guilty plea, and he was ordered to pay £1,743.47 costs to West Sussex County Council.

Landlord fined £8,000 for 16 offences

A landlord has been fined over £8,000 for a total of 16 offences under the Housing Act, according to Hastings Borough Council.

Thomas Wallace pleaded guilty to non-compliance with a statutory improvement notice at his property and was fined £2,667.

Wallace was further required to pay £432 costs and £170 victim surcharge.

Mr Wallace was also sentenced for 15 previous offences for which he pleaded guilty to. He was fined £367 per offence and required to pay costs of £435 per offence.

A spokesman for the council said Mr Wallace was fined £8,171 in total and was required to pay costs of £6,912.

Councillor Andy Batsford said, “Given the large number of properties owned by Mr Wallace, it is disappointing that Mr Wallace was not fined even more.

“Fortunately, most landlords do not behave in this way.

“We want responsible landlords in this town and unlicensed landlords will be advised, warned and then taken to court for operating illegally.

“We want decent housing for all in our town.”

Rogue tenant jailed for 16 weeks

A head tenant has been jailed for 16 weeks after he changed the locks on a property that was illegally sublet to 35 men.

Ilie Florin Dragusin evicted the men and removed their belongings from a converted three-bedroom semi-detached house.

Brent council officers found the 35 tenants to be living in substandard conditions in an unlicensed HMO in September last year.

Dragusin was one of three head tenants at the property in Kingsbury.

Councillor Eleanor Southwood, the council cabinet member with responsibility for housing and welfare reform, said,

“This custodial sentence sends a strong message to anyone thinking that they can get away with illegally evicting their tenants. The punishment is prison. We will help people in the private rented sector who are suffering from the actions of rogue landlords, sub-letters and agents.”

Dragusin had previously ignored four sets of warnings by enforcement officers not to change the locks on the property.


Landlord fined £500 for illegally changing locks on couple with young kids

A man was fined for illegally changing the locks on a house rented by a family with two young children.

Belfast landlord Ciaran Doherty was fined £500 in court on Tuesday for unlawfully depriving the family of occupation of a house they were renting from him.

Both the couple’s children were under two years old at the time of the incident in April last year.

The offence was prosecuted as it was contrary to Article 54(1) of the Rent (NI) Order 1978, as amended by the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006.

Mr Doherty was also ordered to pay a £15 offender levy, £200 in legal costs and £17 in court costs, after a successful prosecution by Belfast City Council.

Councillor Daniel Baker said,

“I’m shocked. No one anywhere should be locked out of their home. There is a housing crisis in west Belfast. More social and affordable homes are desperately needed.

“Landlords should be registered and regulated by Belfast city council and greater enforcement powers granted.”


Landlord fined for housing family in dangerous property

A landlord from Peterborough who housed tenants, including young children, in an overcrowded and dangerous property has been fined after he failed to make improvements.

Raashid Alyas was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay another £1,000 in other costs at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court after admitting a number of offences relating to the home.

The court heard how Peterborough City Council officers visited the home in March 2016. They said the home was suitable for four people to live there, yet a family of seven were living there.

The council inspection also discovered the house had no smoke alarms, fire hazards surrounding an electric shower and a kitchen light switch, problems with the double glazing and roof insulation and further problems with damp and mould.

The council ordered Alyas to make improvements to the property yet he failed to carry them out. The family continued to live there as Alyas claimed they had nowhere else to go. They have since been rehoused.

Alyas pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to comply with a housing improvement notice, and one count of failing to comply with a housing prohibition order.

He was fined £4,000, and ordered him to pay £910 costs,and a £170 victim surcharge.