Published 30th June 2020
With lockdown restrictions continuing to ease and many, many people around the country bracing themselves for the reopening of pubs, cinemas and, of course, hairdressers next month – we can look forward to seeing more normality on our streets and (hopefully) less dodgy haircuts. Alongside that however, we have also been seeing a resurgence in news stories regarding our nation’s biggest rogue landlords, who have been slapped with more fines, Rent Repayment Orders and bans. Below are some of the top examples we’ve heard about over the last month.
At Kamma, we understand that property licensing is complex, inconsistent and ever changing. Our technology and software cuts through that complexity to keep you on top of all the changes with clear and accurate advice. We analyse and sort data to help agents, landlords and surveyors understand the impact of Property Licensing and Planning Permission on their properties and assets. By leveraging technology and data, we want to ensure that no tenant has to live in substandard or unsafe accommodation again.
June’s Top Three Unlicensed Properties and Rogue Landlords:
Earlier this month, in a first case of its kind in Coventry, a landlord was ordered to pay back around £11,000 to tenants after she was caught operating without a licence.
Mrs P Nagra, the landlord, was instructed by the First Tier Property Tribunal to repay rent, that seven tenants applied for as part of a Rent Repayment Order. Housing Enforcement Officers from the council investigated the property and alleged that the landlord had failed to licence the property for a period of eight months and therefore failed in its management of the property.
“This is a first Rent Repayment Order for an unlicensed landlord. We are working with landlords to raise property standards. It is not fair for landlords to evade compliance and benefit financially from operating illegally, while the vast majority of landlords are complying.“Councillor Tariq Khan, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities
Mr. Gilgil, a landlord from Poole, was earlier in the month banned from letting or managing housing in the UK for five years – becoming only the second landlord in England to receive the order.
The ban, effective from June 3, came after he was convicted of offences relating to the condition of a house in multiple occupancy in Poole. If he breaks it he could be jailed or given a financial penalty of up to £30,000.
In May 2019 he was convicted of twelve offences of failing to comply with Management of HMOs, receiving a fine of £3,000 in total and ordered to pay costs of £3,425 and £30 surcharge to fund victim services.
His breaches related to fire regulations, maintenance of common areas and other property defects which were deemed as unsafe and harmful to the welfare of the tenants. The severity of the offences meant the decision was taken to file for a banning order to prevent this rogue landlord from further managing or letting properties.
“Landlords have a duty to manage their properties well and in accordance with the necessary regulations. The scale of the offences committed by this landlord meant that this action was considered absolutely necessary and proportionate and I hope it sends out a clear message that rogue landlords who are putting residents’ health and safety at risk and poorly managing their properties will be dealt with.”Councillor Kieron Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Housing
The landlord, Hargit Singh Bariana, who is currently serving an eight-and-a-half year jail sentence has been ordered to pay back a total of £275,000 following months of evidence gathering and hard work by officers.
Operating in Blyth, this landlord kept a group of men as slaves – making them work 90-hour weeks in return for takeaway food and alcohol. He targeted vulnerable men who were left without homes due to alcoholism and drug addiction. Subsequently, he was sentenced in June 2018 to eight-and-a-half years behind bars.
The victims were all white British men – prompting the lead investigator to comment that this case should challenge people’s perceptions of these types of crimes which had previously predominantly seen victims trafficked from abroad.
Under the Modern Day Slavery Act, Bariana was charged with eight counts of requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour between 2009 and 2015.
Total top 3 story fines reported in trade press this month: £292k
Other Top stories:
Rogue landlords in Tower Hamlets have had to hand back to tenants over £100,000 in the past 12 months for renting out unsafe or unlicensed properties.
The London borough is using Rent Repayment Orders that allow renters to claim back up to 12 months’ payment from landlords who have failed to obtain the correct licence for their property, as required by law.
“We are clamping down on unlicensed properties. This hits those who flout the regulations where it hurts most – in the pocket. Our licensing schemes protect tenants and also help legitimate landlords raise housing standards.”Mayor John Biggs
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