Landlord handed big fines over fire-risk property

November 03 2017

A LANDLORD who left his property in such a dangerous state that the fire service served a notice forbidding anyone to sleep there has been ordered to pay fines and costs of almost £10,000.

A LANDLORD who left his property in such a dangerous state that the fire service served a notice forbidding anyone to sleep there has been ordered to pay fines and costs of almost £10,000.

Saleem Nazir was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court after being found guilty of a number of offences relating to the poor condition and management of his property at 437 Stapleton Road.

Mr Nazir, from Mangotsfield, was found guilty of 17 offences in relation to the renting out of a substandard house in multiple occupation (HMO) following a full trial at Bristol Magistrates Court. He was fined a total of £4,000 plus £5,700, with an additional 60 hours of community service in respect of suspended sentences received in March and April last year.

Mr Nazir rents the ground floor of his Stapleton Road property as a commercial space, letting the first, second and third floors as residential accommodation.

Bristol City Council had been trying to engage with him since 2015, encouraging him to make an application for a licence and requiring him to make improvements to the fire detection and prevention systems at the property.

In October 2016 Mr Nazir was prosecuted for failing to obtain a property licence, failing to respond to a notice requiring him to supply information about the property and for not providing the tenancy agreements.

After the prosecution, officers returned to the property to determine if works had been completed and to establish if the property was still licensable. The officers found very poor conditions of management, and the works for the fire alarm systems had not been completed.

At the time the house was found to be in multiple occupation and no licence application had been made. This resulted in this second prosecution that was tried in Bristol Magistrates' Court on 13 September this year.

A more recent visit in August 2017 identified the conditions for fire safety were so poor the fire brigade were asked to visit and as a consequence they served a Prohibition Order preventing anyone sleeping or resting at the property.

Cabinet councillor Paul Smithsaid: "This landlord has repeatedly neglected to engage with council. He has refused to get the necessary licence for the property and has failed to provide adequate living conditions for his tenants. We have tried to work with him on numerous occasions, but his unwillingness to engage has seen him end up in court once again.

"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. However, we urge landlords to cooperate with our officers to avoid unnecessary court cases and fines. The vast majority of landlords are keen to work with us and together we can continue to improve housing conditions within the city."

Mr Nazir has still not licensed the property, as he claims he will not be renting it in the future and will be living there himself.

Bristol City Council will continue to monitor the occupation of the property and take any appropriate future enforcement action as necessary.

Following these convictions, the council will now review whether Mr Nazir will be allowed to manage licensable properties in the city in the future.