Councillor to pay £45,000 in HMO fines

A councillor has been fined £45,000 after admitting running an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO) and 11 fire safety offences at a property he let out with his brother.

Councillor Brian Silvester, 60, who represents Willaston and Rope for Cheshire East, was fined at Chester Crown Court.

His brother, Colin Silvester, was fined £37,500 after pleading guilty to the same offences.

They were each ordered to pay costs of £22,000.

The problems came to light after a former tenant raised concerns about safety at the shared property.

He said he had to leave a lump hammer on a window sill in his room, and tie a long scaffold rope from a beam to throw out of the window to slide down.

Landlord Pindi das Madan tried to blackmail tenants in to accepting the blame for dangerous fire safety breaches on his behalf at an HMO in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

A fire inspection found escape routes were blocked, smoke detectors missing and fire doors and extinguishers did not work.

Madan, 69, of Barnet, North London, was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £15,702 for the fire safety offences at Watford Magistrates Court.

At an earlier hearing at St Alban’s Crown Court, he was convicted of blackmail and given a six month suspended jail sentence and ordered to carry out 300 hours of community service.

Madan is also banned from holding an HMO licence.

Ashfaq Mohuiddin, 45, from Ilford, Essex, was found guilty of 17 charges at Thames Magistrates’ Court. Charges included failing to license and an HMO over a restaurant in East Ham, London.

Tenants and two children living in rooms infested with mice and cockroaches.

Mohuiddin was fined £27,400 and ordered to pay costs of £3,530.

Zafran Bashir and Imran Bashir, of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, had fines for running an HMO without a licence reduced after claiming they had no jobs and were in financial hardship.

Both pleaded guilty at Peterborough Magistrates Court to the licensing offence and charges failing to provide information to the council.

Zafran Bashir fined £500 for failing to licence the property and £300 for failing to provide information to the council. Imran Bashir was fined £300 for failing to licence the property, £150 for failing to provide information to the council. Each was ordered to pay £415 costs.

Geoffrey Irving, of Breck Road, Wallasey, The Wirral, was fined £7,000 after admitting failing to comply with improvement notices from Wirral Council to put right poor living conditions in private rented property at Wirral Magistrates.

The warnings came after tenants were forced to cope with “sub-standard” living conditions such as defective smoke alarms, no heating or hot water and dangerous electrical wiring.

Wayne Moffat, 51, was fined £6,000 with £996 costs in his absence at Furness Magistrates Court after failing to obey two Barrow Council improvement notices.

Gateshead landlord Mark Robson must hand back £5,219 of rent after admitting letting a flat without an HMO licence, following the decision by a Residential Property Tribunal.


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