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A rogue Birmingham landlord has been ordered to pay a record breaking fine after leaving tenants in unacceptable living conditions.
Leila Amjadi, who runs Vertu Capital Ltd, was found guilty of 35 offences relating to four properties. She has now been fined more than £180,000. This marks the largest fine ever to be handed out by a court in Birmingham for these types of offences.
The properties in question were Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). Complaints from her tenants about the poor maintenance of the properties led to their inspection and a range of offences were revealed, from missing fire blankets and fire doors, to smoke detectors hanging loose from the ceiling. 31 breaches of HMO regulations were found in total by inspectors.
The Birmingham landlord was found guilty of charges relating to the failure to obtain HMO licences and for breaches under HMO regulations. Her company, Vertu Capital Ltd, was also found guilty of 21 offences. She was ordered to pay £182,314.90 in fines, costs and compensation to her tenants.
Amjadi had 10 years’ experience as a landlord and therefore was and was well aware of her responsibility to obtain HMO licences.
The district judge felt compelled to state that despite the significant income from her properties, Ms Amjadi did not care for the health and safety of her tenants. This led to her tenants suffering unacceptable living conditions. Ms Amjadi was also found to have deliberately used delaying tactics dealing with both her tenants and with Birmingham City Council.
Director of housing at the city council, Robert James commented on the case: ‘This is the largest fine that Birmingham has seen for these type of offences. It sends out a strong message to all landlords that Birmingham City Council will use all its enforcement powers to ensure that tenants are protected from rogue landlords who neglect their responsibilities.’