Landlord fined over poor quality flat

November 02 2016

BRISTOL City Council has successfully prosecuted another private landlord for failing to obtain the appropriate licence for his property.

BRISTOL City Council has successfully prosecuted another private landlord for failing to obtain the appropriate licence for his property.

At Bristol Magistrates Court, Saleem Nazir was convicted of offences under the Housing Act 2004 and ordered to pay more than £4,200 in fines and costs.

The flat was required to be licensed under Bristol City Council’s Stapleton Road property licensing scheme.

Mr Nazir owns 437 Stapleton Road, renting the ground floor as a commercial property and letting the first floor flat as residential accommodation. The council had been in discussions with Mr Nazir since 2015 encouraging him to make the application for the licence, but although an application was received he failed to pay the correct fee. 

A visit to the property in January 2016 revealed very poor conditions in the flat, including a leak which caused the floor boards to rot.

The toilet had also sunk through the floor causing the pan to become disconnected from the soil pipe. This meant the tenants had no access to a useable toilet.  Mr Nazir was asked to make the necessary repairs but failed to do so, resulting in the council having to do the work.

At the trial Mr Nazir insisted his brother was responsible for letting the flat and that he had not received any of the papers requesting information to be provided to the council.  However the magistrates decided his evidence was “not credible” and that he was the owner and should have made the application. He was found guilty on all counts.

In April 2013 Bristol City Council introduced a licensing scheme for private rented properties in Stapleton Road  and surrounding streets, placing conditions on the landlord or agent to ensure that minimum property standards are met and that good management practice is delivered. 

Councillor Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities, said: “This landlord has failed to engage with the local authority and refused to get the necessary licence for the flat.  

"The flat was in very poor condition and there has been considerable intervention to ensure the tenants were provided with suitable living conditions.

“Officers from the private housing team are actively looking for properties that are not licensed, and landlords that ignore their responsibilities will be investigated and may be brought before the courts and prosecuted.” 

It is an offence to rent a property without a licence in the Stapleton Road, Eastville and St George licensing areas and a conviction could lead to an unlimited fine.

For more information, or to make an application go to;

 https://www.bristol.gov.uk/licences-permits/property-licences-for-landlords