A Wolverhampton landlord has admitted to failing to rectify 32 housing offences regarding a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
Harbhajan Singh Dhami admitted failing to deal with a list of problems in the property, ranging from fire hazards and electrical issues to damp. A large pile of waste was also found at the property.
An inspection from council officers in June led to the discovery of the issues. The inspection also revealed that no approval had been sought for the conversion of the property into flats. This confirmed to the local council that it was a HMO and should be regulated as such.
The property consisted of 11 flats in total, of which seven were being lived in.
Dhami, of Ednam Road, Wolverhampton and his company Dhami Accommodation Ltd, received fines amounting to £33,995 at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court.
District Judge Murray said: ‘Mr Dhami was a good landlord, with the exception of this property, where the issues of disrepair go back longer than the summons period. Mr Dhami blamed the tenants for the damage to the property but accepted that the tenants in the property were vulnerable and therefore the duty of care that he owed to his tenants was much greater. The fact that one of the walls was separating from the structure leaving a gap, together with the blocked means of escape, missing banisters, an inoperative fire alarm system and disconnected smoke detectors created a risk of smoke penetration and injury in the event of a fire.’
Judge Murray also highlighted the lack of compliance from the rogue landlord. He said that from the company accounts provided to the court it was clear that the company had made a substantial profit and the judge had to consider the totality of the offending.
He added that while Mr Dhami would be given credit for his guilty plea he would be sentenced on the high risk involved. It was clear that the property was a high fire risk and that candles were being used at the property which also had loose wiring. There had been a lack of compliance from Mr Dhami when council officers had required him to correct these problems and a lack of response when he was given the opportunity to do so.