Thursday, 26 April 2012

Rogue landlord successfully prosecuted - #rdg

Great news for tenants of these two properties, and for good landlords who shouldn't have to compete with a rogue who doesn't take his responsibilities seriously.


I promise that a Labour council in Reading will continue to tackle problems in the private rented sector and get the best for residents.


Details below:


Yet another rogue landlord has been prosecuted by Reading Borough Council and hit with a hefty fine by magistrates after failing to meet national safety standards.

Mr. Gurprit Singh Johal, of Oaktree Road, Tilehurst, was prosecuted on April 16 at Reading Magistrates Court for repeatedly failing to licence two houses in multiple occupation and refusing to provide adequate information on the two properties, in Hatherly Road and Carnarvon Road.

Mr Johal was given several opportunities to submit an application to licence his two properties but failed to do so. In addition, he failed to comply with two notices served on him requiring information and documentation.

The Reading landlord was fined £2,400 and it is also likely that Mr Johal will no longer be deemed a 'fit and proper person' to hold a HMO licence under the Housing Act 2004. Reading Borough Council was awarded £2,200 in costs.

It is the latest prosecution by Reading Borough Council on landlords who fail to meet standards for their properties, putting their tenant's health and safety at risk. The Council is again warning landlord's of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) to comply with the law or face severe consequences.

Reading Borough Council's Lead Member for Housing and Neighbourhoods, Rachel Eden, said: 'This prosecution is excellent news for the tenants of these properties and is an important part of ensuring a level playing field for good landlords.

"Reading Borough Council is serious about improving standards in the private rented sector and while prosecutions are the last resort we will continue to use the powers available to us - Reading's residents deserve a fit for purpose private rented sector. I would like to thank Council officers in Environmental Health who worked tirelessly on this case.'

Decent and well-regulated houses in multiple occupancy are crucial in a town like Reading where there are estimated to be around 3,500 properties providing bed-sit or shared accommodation for approximately 18,000 residents.

More than one in four (26%) of the whole of the borough's housing stock is made up of private rented sector housing, which is substantially higher than the national average of 12%. In fact, it is estimated Reading is home to three-quarters of Houses of Multiple Occupation in the whole of Berkshire.

Research shows HMO properties with three or more storeys are considered to be sixteen times more dangerous than single occupancy housing and are more at risk of suffering issues with hazards such as damp and mould, burglary, burns from hot surfaces, electrical hazards,  carbon monoxide, crowding and noise, waste and food safety. This is why mandatory HMO licensing is an important priority for the Council.

For more about the requirements for renting out an HMO,  visit the Councils website at www.reading.gov.uk/hmo

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