Bradford Council Hands Out Fines for Poorly Managed Buy to Let Homes

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Bradford Council has fined two landlords over £6,500 for their failure to comply with safety and improvement notices on properties that they continued to rent out.

The Council had served an Improvement Notice on Atha Properties Ltd regarding a house rented out by the company. The property contained various defects including a missing roof tile, a leak from the bathroom, mould growth and missing sealant surrounding the bath. There was also an upstairs window which did not have a catch on it to prevent it from fully opening. Atha Properties’ director Paul Atha argued that the company had made a mistake and fitted window locks instead of a restricted opening catch.

Prosecutor Aneeka Sarwar told magistrates at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court that housing officers had later inspected the property and found that none of the work had been carried out.

Atha pleaded guilty to one offence of failing to comply with an improvement notice.

Ashfaq Hussain, 59, of Manor Road, Keighley was also fined. He had been informed that a bedroom in a house he rented out was a fire hazard. The house had been converted into six one-room flats. One of the bedrooms had no safe means of evacuation if a fire was to start in the kitchen.

Hussain argued that he rented out that room as he was in need of the financial income. However, the house also had other defects that had not been sorted. The fire alarm system did not work and the electrical fittings were outdated. There was also a broken window and the carpets on the stairs were loose.

Prosecutor Harjit Ryatt said in June 2017 housing officers visited the rental property. Hussain was found guilty in his absence to 12 offences of breaching housing regulations and failing to comply with improvement notices issued by Bradford Council.

Magistrates fined Atha £2,500 and also informed him that he must pay costs of costs of £594 and a victim surcharge of £170.

Following the case, Bradford Council Strategic Director with responsibility for housing, Steve Hartley, said: ‘This case shows how seriously both the courts and the Council regard the safety of tenants in the privately rented sector.’