Newport Landlord Fined For Flouting Rental Laws
A Newport landlord has been found guilty of renting out an unlicensed shared house in poor condition, and fined over £6,000.
Sanu Miah of Malpas Road, failed to attend Newport Magistrates’ Court on 22 April 2016, but was found guilty in his absence.
In 2013, Newport City Council’s environmental health department carried out an investigation, and Mr Miah was found to be renting out a property in Alexandra Road, Newport, without an appropriate license.
With three occupied flats, the property was classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and therefore needed to be licensed. Although assistance was given to apply for a license, Mr Miah did not make an application stating he would only rent out two of the flats.
A further check was made in 2015 and information gathered via the Housing Benefits and Council Tax systems raised suspicions that the property was operating as an HMO.
An inspection found that not only were all three flats occupied, but there were numerous breaches of the HMO management regulations, including:
– Failure to ensure that all means of escape from fire are kept free from obstruction and are maintained in good order and repair, also for any firefighting equipment and fire alarms;
– Failure to ensure that fixtures, fittings and appliances, windows, common parts and living accommodation are maintained in good and safe repair and in clean working order;
– Failure to supply to the council with the latest gas appliance test and electrical installation certificates.
Magistrates found Mr Miah guilty of 12 offences, fining him £440 for each. A victim surcharge was imposed and a substantial contribution towards prosecution costs was awarded, making a total of £6,574.
Councillor Bob Poole, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Functions, said: “These regulations exist for the safety and welfare of tenants and neighbours. Mr Miah was fully aware of the need to license the property and of the standards he needed to meet. He chose to ignore the law and in these circumstances the council will not hesitate to prosecute, sending out a clear message that such conduct will not be tolerated.”
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