A landlord has been landed with a £6,439 fine after four of the homes in his £1.5 million property portfolio were found to pose safety concerns.
Magistrates inspected two of the homes let by landlord Dilip Gohil, 67. They found that they posed fire safety concerns, and lacked escape routes in case of a fire.
Furthermore, none of the homes in the property portfolio were licensed with Nottingham City Council. According to Sarah Mills, prosecuting, the authority sent out letters informing landlords that houses in multiple occupation (HMO) required five-year licences, costing £910.
A three story house in The Meadows was found by council officers to contain seven bedrooms with five tenants who shared a kitchen and a bathroom. The property did not have the correct licensing for a HMO. A second property, also located in The Meadows, had six bedrooms with three tenants, each paying around £70 per week for a room. It also did not have a licence and contained several fire safety threats.
Miss Mills explained to the court: ‘There was a lack of fire doors throughout the property, the kitchen door did not have a handle and could not be closed. There was a fridge stored in the hallway which provided access to the bathroom, kitchen and rear door.’
A further property owned by Gohil was located in Wilford Crescent East. Inspectors found a six-bedroom house without a licence, and with issues such as a kitchen door that failed to close, which affected the integrity of the fire door and its ability to contain fire and smoke for 30 minutes’ according to Miss Mills.
A final house on the street owned by Gohil also had no licence and issues with fire detectors.
Miss Mills concluded: ‘A large refrigerator was in the hallway outside the kitchen. Smoke detectors were not linked so occupants on the first and second floor would not receive adequate early warning in the event of a fire.”
Gohil admitted to seven breaches of the Housing Act and was fined £4,750. He was also ordered to pay £1,519 council costs and a government tax of £170.
John Campbell, mitigating, told magistrates: ‘He has rectified all the matters subject of these offences. He has applied for licences for all the properties. He didn’t need to be prosecuted to leap into action. The purpose is to maintain standards and safety and that has been served.’