A Bristol landlord has been ordered to pay fines and costs of almost £10,000 following an investigation by Bristol City Council.
Saleem Nazir from Mangotsfield was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court this week, after being found guilty on September 13 of a number of offences relating to the poor condition and management of his property on Stapleton Road.
Mr Nazir was found guilty of 17 offences in relation to the renting out of a substandard house in multiple occupation (HMO) following a full trial in Bristol Magistrates Court.
He was convicted, of the following offences under the Housing Act 2004 and other legislation;
- failing to apply for a licence for a HMO;
-failing to carry out works required in an Improvement Notice to make the property safe from fire;
- failing to respond to a notice served asking him to supply information about the property;
-failing to supply copies of tenancies agreements to the council,
- 13 other offences under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 concerning issues of disrepair.
Mr Nazir was fined a total of £4,000 with £5,700, with an additional 60 hours of Community Service in respect of previous suspended sentences received in March and April last year.
Mr Nazir rents the ground floor of his Stapleton Road property as a commercial space, letting the first, second and third floors as residential accommodation.
The City Council had been trying to engage with him since 2015, encouraging him to make an application for a licence and requiring him to make improvements to the fire detection and prevention systems at the property.
In October 2016 Mr Nazir was prosecuted for failing to obtain a property licence, failing to respond to a notice requiring him to supply information about the property and for not providing the tenancy agreements.
After the prosecution officers returned to the property to determine if works had been completed and to establish if the property was still licensable. The officers found very poor conditions of management, and the works for the fire alarm systems had not been completed.
At the time the house was found to be in multiple occupation and no licence application had been made. This resulted in this second prosecution that was tried in Bristol Magistrates’ Court on 13 September 2017.
A more recent visit in August 2017 identified the conditions for fire safety were so poor the fire brigade were asked to visit and as a consequence they served a Prohibition Order preventing anyone sleeping or resting at the property.
Councillor Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities, said: “This landlord has repeatedly neglected to engage with council. He has refused to get the necessary licence for the property and has failed to provide adequate living conditions for his tenants. We have tried to work with him on numerous occasions, but his unwillingness to engage has seen him end up in court once again.
“Officers from the private housing team are actively looking for properties that are not licensed, and landlords that ignore their responsibilities will be investigated and may be brought before the courts and prosecuted.
“However, we urge landlords to cooperate with our officers to avoid unnecessary court cases and fines. The vast majority of landlords are keen to work with us and together we can continue to improve housing conditions within the city."
Mr Nazir has still not licenced the property, as he claims he will not be renting it in the future and will be living there himself.
Bristol City Council will continue to monitor the occupation of the property and take any appropriate future enforcement action as necessary.
Following these convictions, the council will now review whether or not Mr Nazir will be allowed to manage licensable properties in the city in the future.