From: "Reading Borough Council" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 8 Aug 2014 10:48
Subject: Council Prosecutes Unlicensed HMO
Council Prosecutes Unlicensed HMO
Reading Borough Council Press Release
TWO Reading men have been fined a total of £8,000 and ordered to pay more than £2,000 costs after a successful prosecution by the Council's private sector housing team.
Mohammed Zulfiquar Wahid, aged 41, and Mohammed Ghafoor Ahmed, aged 40, who both live in Pell Street, both admitted having control of or managing a house in multiple occupation without a current licence.
Reading magistrates fined each of them £4,000 with £1,134 costs on Friday, July 25th.
The offences - which took place in 2013 - relate to another property in Pell Street, which Ahmed owns and his brother Wahid manages.
Officers from the Council's private sector housing team began an investigation in November 2013, after one of the six tenants then living at the property contacted them. They found that the property had been unlicensed as a house in multiple occupation since 2011, although a number of tenants had been living there.
Richard Davies, Lead Councillor for Housing at Reading Borough Council, said:
"Anyone renting out an HMO with 3 or more storeys and 5 or more occupants must have a license to do so. Tenants can check if their landlord has a licence on the Council website and if any landlord is in doubt about whether they need a license they should contact the Council's HMO team. Unlicensed HMOs can also be reported using a form on the website.
"The Council will always stand up for residents who live in private rented accommodation. We take our regulatory duties for HMOs very seriously and will prosecute those who flout the law."
If tenants want to check if an HMO is currently licensed they can follow this link on Reading Borough Council's website: http://www.reading.gov.uk/residents/housing/private-tenants-and-landlords/HousesinMultipleOccupation/HMOLicenceSearch/ENDS
Notes for Editors:
Reading Borough Council Press Releases can be found online at http://www.reading.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/
Media Contact: Oscar Mortali
Tel: 0118 937 2301