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Landlord fined over appalling condition of rental property
3:21pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
A ROGUE landlord has been fined £3,300 for letting his rental property fall into an appalling state of disrepair.
Darlington Borough Council took court action against landlord Shahinur Choudhury after the police contacted housing officers about the dangerous state of the house in Corporation Road, Darlington.
It had no working fire alarm, escape routes were blocked, there was poor structural fire separation and the shared areas were dirty and in poor condition.
Windows were also broken, the staircase was dangerous and there was a severe damp problem in the building which was licensed as a house of multiple occupation (HMO).
Officers later took steps under the Housing Act to prohibit the use of the property for occupation and sleeping and this prohibition remains in force.
Mr Choudhury appeared at Darlington Magistrates’ Court this week (Wednesday, March 20) where he was convicted of 11 offences relating to poor housing conditions and management of a house in multiple occupation.
He was fined £3,300 and ordered to pay costs of £450 and a victim surcharge of £15.
Councillor Veronica Copeland, cabinet member for adult social care and housing, said: “This case reinforces the need for rented homes to be inspected to ensure people, often vulnerable people in higher risk HMO properties, are living in safe conditions.”
Landlords have extra legal responsibilities to keep rented homes safe and in good condition if it is a HMO, and all HMOs with three or more storeys that are occupied by five or more people are currently required to apply to the council for a special licence.
All HMOs of three or more people of two or more households are required to comply with management regulations.
Coun Copeland added: “We remain focused to work with local landlords to ensure all rented homes are safe and well managed and we welcome applications from responsible landlords to join Darlington Borough Council’s Landlord Accreditation Scheme.”