Leeds ,

Landlord fined for safety breaches

A Harehills landlord is facing a bill of nearly £5,000 after ignoring legal notices requiring him to make his rental property safe.

Ifthikar Hussain, Banstead Street East, appeared before Leeds magistrates last week. Having pleaded guilty to a catalogue of safety failures, Hussain was fined a total of £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,783 and £120 victim surcharge.

The case came to light when the tenant living in the second floor Banstead Street East flat complained to the council that the property had no heating or hot water. The tenant also alleged that their electricity supply was being used for a business within the same building.

On inspection, officers from the council’s private sector housing team found the flat had no adequate heating, no handrails on the staircase, defective lights, no fire escape or detection, leaks causing holes in the ceiling, leaks showing in the walls of the bedroom and dodgy electrics.

Officers immediately stepped in and issued an improvement notice giving Hussain a deadline to make repairs to ensure the flat was safe to live in.

Hussain failed to do the necessary work and with all the hazards still present, he re-let the property to another family after the tenant who originally lodged the complaint moved on.

Failure to comply with the improvement notice lead to prosecution.

Landlords need to take responsibility for the condition of their property and we expect them to uphold decent standards of safety and maintenance.

When these obligations are so blatantly ignored, as in this case, we cannot and will not let people put lives at risk, there is too much at stake.

Our message to landlords is simple; thank you to the many that take their responsibilities seriously and offer tenants safe, appropriate accommodation. To those landlords who are willing to flout the law; we will prosecute you.
Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for communities