A private buy to let investor has been told he must pay almost £6,500 for renting four properties in Nottingham without a license.
Rogue landlord Dilip Gohil was prosecuted after his failure to acquire the correct licensing for his houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). This was in spite of the fact that each property boasted a sizeable seven bedrooms, clearly rendering them most suitable for multiple occupancy and suggesting instead a blatant disregard for licensing regulation.
Furthermore, several health and safety issues were uncovered at the properties, rendering them potentially unsafe for tenant habitation. One house did not have a single fire door within the property, whilst the kitchen door did not have a handle and therefore could not be closed. Issues such as fire safety hazards often lead to councils taking a particularly hard line with negligent landlords.
Gohil admitted to seven breaches of the Housing Act in front of the court. He was subsequently subjected to fines amounting to £4,750. He was also told that he needed to pay council costs of £1,519 and a government tax of £170. The rogue buy to let investor was then given seven months to pay this.
Under the terms of the conviction, Gohil may in future be denied licences for the four properties. It was deemed that this would ‘affect his income.’ However, the landlord’s early guilty plea was acknowledged, along with the fact that the punishment would have been ‘a lot more than that’ according to presiding magistrate Joan Charlett.
Portfolio holder for community and customer services at the council, Toby Neal, spoke out about the case: ‘We take licensing issues really seriously, since landlords who ignore them are putting the safety, well-being and lives of their tenants at risk. We will always prosecute where breaches are found as they were in this case.’