Overcrowded HMO landlord claimed he ran a hostel

Ten people were crammed in to an overcrowded house that did not even have a finished kitchen.

When challenged by Lewisham Council, the landlord claimed the home did not need a house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence as the property was a hostel providing emergency accommodation.

Mustafa Kemal Mustafa’s argument failed in Bromley Magistrates Court when he pleaded not guilty to running an unlicensed HMO.

He was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay £925 costs.

Councillor Susan Wise, cabinet member for customer services, said: “This prosecution will serve as a warning to unscrupulous landlords who fail to ensure their properties conform to legal requirements. The council will bring them to book to protect the health, safety and welfare of tenants living in private rented accommodation.”

A company who operated an unlicensed HMO in Liverpool was fined £6,500 and ordered to pay £2,000 costs.

HMO lacked fire safety precautions

Incity Ltd of Rochdale Road, Manchester, and managing director Jan Francek of Bradley Drive, Bury, were sentenced in their absence at Liverpool Magistrates Court.

Francek had admitted 13 HMO offences – six as a director and seven for the company – and was fined £500 on each charge.

The charges related to an unlicensed HMO run by the company that housed eight tenants. The property also had several fire safety defects.

Councillor Ann O’Byrne, cabinet member for housing, said: “It is unacceptable that these tenants’ lives were put at risk. This landlord was earning nearly £2,000 per month from this property but did not bother to ensure that basic fire protection was in place. Liverpool City Council will not hesitate to prosecute rogue landlords and stop them operating in our city.”

Damp and dirty HMO

Landlord Shahinur Choudhury was fined £3,300 and ordered to pay £465 costs for renting out a shabby HMO with fire safety problems.

Darlington magistrates convicted him of 11 charges involving poor living standards and HMO licensing issues.

The house had no working fire alarm, emergency exits were blocked and shared areas were dirty and in poor condition, with broken windows, damp and dangerous stairs.

Councillor Veronica Copeland, cabinet member for adult social care and housing, said: “This case reinforces the need for rented homes to be inspected to ensure people, often vulnerable people in higher risk HMO properties, are living in safe conditions.”


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