04:45PM, Tuesday 20 March 2018
A rogue landlord from Slough who was unaware how many tenants were in his ‘abysmal’ and hazard filled property has been fined £12,000.
Mohammed Afzal, of Harris Gardens, pleaded guilty to 12 offences under the Housing Act 2004 at Reading Magistrates Court on Friday, March 9.
He ran an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO) which was so dangerous, council electricians condemned it.
Following a tip off, SBC officers and police attended 133 The Crescent in August 2017 with a warrant and found the property was being used as an HMO.
Problems at the house included a missing kitchen ceiling, no fire safety measures, blocked exits, no gas safety certification, stair carpets coming away and no handrails, lights taped instead of hung from walls and ceilings, severe overcrowding, insufficient waste collection, a rubbish filled garden and dangerous electrics.
After electricians condemned the property, an emergency prohibition order was put in place to ensure one could live and sleep there until suitable repairs had been made.
At court, despite Afzal claiming builders had been in at the time of the inspection, he could not be clear about how many tenants were there.
Reading magistrates fined Afzal £12,000 and ordered him to pay costs of £2,757.98 and a victim surcharge of £170.
SBC lead member for regulation and consumer protection Cllr Pavitar Mann (Lab, Britwell and Northborough) said: “The conditions at this property were abysmal and put the safety of the tenants at huge risk.
“We will not tolerate landlords who do not provide safe, secure and sanitary conditions for their tenants and we hope the level of this fine serves as a warning to any landlord who is considering leaving their property to rack and ruin.
“The safety of residents is paramount; no one should have to live in such horrendous conditions.”
The property was re-inspected in December and is now considered acceptable for habitation.
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