A rogue landlord who ignored mice and mould at his unlicensed HMO has been slapped with a £28,600 rent repayment order.
His five tenants not only found Mohammed Shofiq Ali Shamsu hard to contact, but also complained of a long list of problems he failed to properly rectify, a First Tier Property Tribunal heard.
Tenants put up with a mouse infestation in the kitchen at the three-bedroom terraced house in Osric Path, Hackney, (main picture) along with exposed wires, broken front door, nails in the stair carpet, a leak from the bathroom, and persistent mould.
There were no fire doors or access to the bins and the property had not been cleaned or cleared when they moved in.
Difficulties Although they lived at the address for the 12-month term of the tenancy, they did not pay one month due to the difficulties of contacting their landlord.
The tribunal could only make an order for 11 months’ rent but found that it was “a serious and deliberate default” which warranted the maximum penalty – particularly as Shofiq Ali Shamsu had not engaged with the tribunal process.
Importance Judge Nicol said this suggested the landlord did not realise or understand the importance or significance of licensing – as a way to provide an audit of the safety and condition of the property and of the landlord’s management arrangements.
Without that audit process, a landlord could save significant sums of money by not incurring various costs such as a fire risk assessment and smoke or heat alarm, the judge said.
“Not getting licensed means that important health and safety requirements may get missed, to the possible serious detriment of any occupiers.
“RROs must be set at a level which disincentivises the avoidance of licensing and disabuses landlords of the idea that it would save money.”
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