Landlord fined for failing to make safety improvements: Landlord prosecution - Iqbal 3 (1)

02 Feb 2017

Housing and Planning

Landlord fined for failing to make safety improvements

A landlord who failed to carry out essential repairs to his property has been ordered to pay fines and costs of more than £6,000 following an investigation by Bristol City Council.

At Bristol Magistrates Court yesterday (Feb 1) Zafar Iqbal of St Nicholas Road, St Pauls, was found guilty, in his absence, of failing to comply with the requirements of an Improvement Notice.    

Following a complaint received to the private housing department, environmental health officers carried out an inspection of the property.

The property was let as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) where up to three tenants shared the bathrooms with the resident landlord Mr Iqbal.

Following an inspection on the 3 August 2016, environmental health officers found the property to be in a filthy condition and in very poor repair.

The conditions were so poor, a formal Improvement Notice was served requiring Mr Iqbal to carry out numerous works in the property to eliminate the hazards and improve the safety and conditions.   

These works required included the installation of a fire alarm system; provision of hot and cold water and heating; treating the mouse infestation and repairing the leak to the roof.

Mr Iqbal failed to complete these works to improve the living conditions within the time allowed by the notice.

Improving living conditions for people across the city remains a priority for the council. However, landlords are urged to work with the council to avoid ending up in court.

Councillor Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities, said: “The council will not tolerate landlords failing to meet their legal responsibilities in relation to the conditions and safety of their properties.

“This is an issue we take very seriously, and we will continue to take action where necessary to improve people’s living conditions.

"We urge landlords to cooperate with our officers to avoid court cases and fines which are much more expensive than undertaking the improvements. The vast majority of landlords do this and working together we can improve housing conditions within the city."

This is the second time Mr Iqbal has been prosecuted for failing to complete works required of him in an Improvement Notice. At the previous hearing in August 2015 he was also found guilty and ordered to pay a total of £6,284 in fines and costs.

The works remain incomplete and Bristol City Council is now considering carrying out the improvements in his default which will result in the landlord having to repay these costs.

Tenants who are having difficulty getting their landlord to deal with problems in their homes can contact the private housing service by email private.housing@bristol.gov.uk or online at www.bristol.gov.uk/privatehousing