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Tenants left in danger

Big fines for Bentley Road landlors

Published on August 10th 2012.


Tenants left in danger

A LANDLORD, whose electricity supply had been cut off, left tenants in danger, a court was told.
 
Mostofa Hamadani, of Aigburth Road, was found guilty of five offences under the Housing Act 2004 and pleaded guilty to two other offences at Liverpool Magistrates Court.
 
He was fined a total of £4,250 and ordered to pay costs of £3,220.
 
The court heard that in September 2011 Scottish Power contacted the City Council’s Environmental Health Houses in Multiple Occupation team to tell them of a pending disconnection of a landlord’s electrical supply to a semi-detached house in Bentley Road Liverpool 8 which had six self-contained flats.
 
Later that month Scottish Power confirmed that the landlord’s electricity supply had been disconnected and although the landlord, Mr Hamadani, had contacted them the arrears remained unpaid.
 
Shortly afterwards environmental health officers gained access to the house and found that there was no electricity supply to the common parts and the fire alarm and lighting were inoperative. 
 
They found that the automatic fire alarm system was damaged and the fuse had been removed.  They also found that all the call points used to raise the alarm had been damaged. There were no contact information details for the manager of the property displayed in a prominent position.
 
The entire staircase from the ground to the second floor was loose with missing balusters.
 
The officers also found that there was an accumulation of domestic waste including furniture to the side of the property and the soil pipe to the front of the house was broken and there was evidence of sewage leaking out.
 
Officers met Mr Hamadani at the house. They found that the electricity supply still had not been reconnected so served him with the Emergency Prohibition Order.  He was advised of the reason the council had taken this action was because of the real danger to the tenants if there was a fire. He was told that if the property remained occupied he could face prosecution. 
 
Mr Hamadani made no attempt to speak to any of his tenants and after approximately 15 minutes left. The officers remained at the property to deal with any tenants giving advice about alternative accommodation available to them.
 
Officers returned the following day and found that the property was still occupied.
 
District Judge Sanderson gave Mr Hamadani credit for the two guilty pleas but said that a number of matters, particularly the disconnected electricity and the inoperative fire alarm, caused concern as they left four vulnerable tenants without the protection of a fire alarm.
 
Councillor Ann O’Byrne, cabinet member for housing, said: "The City Council will not tolerate landlords who put their financial gain over the safety and wellbeing of their tenants”
 

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