Watford landlord guilty of six offences

Watford landlord guilty of six offences

Watford landlord guilty of six offences

The landlord of a multiple occupancy house (HMO) in Watford has been found guilty of six offences under the Housing Act 2004.

The offences relate to a property owned by Mr Mohammed Khaliq, which is on Durban Road West.

Up to ten people were alleged to be living in very poor and unsafe conditions.

Mr Khaliq failed to licence the property and breached regulations by operating a HMO that was unsafe, in a poor state of repair and dirty. The property did not have adequate fire safety arrangements – there was not even a single working smoke detector, the kitchen was dirty and in poor condition, there was inadequate drainage to a shower and the garden was full of rubbish.

If a HMO is occupied by five or more tenants, a licence from the Council is required because local authorities are required to adhere to strict regulations regarding the ratio of HMOs to normal residential homes and amenities on any particular road. This was breached by Mr Khaliq’s failure to register his property.

Evidence was provided by a police officer and two Environmental Health Officers from Watford Borough Council. Previous tenants also issued complaints.

The judge found Mr Khaliq guilty of all charges and in summing up said that all witnesses gave clear, credible and helpful evidence.

Mr Khaliq has been issued with a fine of £17,000, a victim surcharge of £181 and costs of £10,488.62. The fee, totalling £27,669.62, is to be paid to Watford Borough Council.

Watford Borough Council is in contact with the tenants and continues to support them.

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said:

“Many landlords provide high quality standards for local residents. However, this successful prosecution has shown that we will take action against rogue landlords who do not respect their tenants. People renting a home have the right to expect it is maintained to a decent standard and not be exploited or put at risk of harm. We will continue to work with the police to protect the rights of those living in private rented accommodation in our town.”

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