Rugby Borough Council prosecutes landlord

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A LANDLORD who rents out a multi-occupied house in Rugby has been prosecuted by Rugby Borough Council (RBC) for putting the safety of his tenants at risk.

Improvement notices were served on Mokhtar Mohammad Pouri, landlord of a Newbold Road property, following an inspection in 2008 when Council officers found serious failings for fire safety.

Later, further improvement notices were served on Mr Pouri in 2010 following an inspection when Council officers obtained a warrant to access the property and found the accommodation to be substandard including severe dampness to a number of units of accommodation and the tenants’ fire escape route compromised.

Subsequent inspections by Rugby Borough Council identified Mr Pouri had failed to undertake the necessary improvement works and had not carried out basic repairs to communal areas and units of accommodation.

During the one day trail at Nuneaton Magistrates Court Mr Pouri of Cleve Avenue, Nottingham, pleaded not guilty to seven offences of failing to comply with improvement notices served under the Housing Act 2004 and breaching management regulations for houses in multiple occupation but was found guilty by the Magistrates and fined £200 for each offence in addition to three other offences for which a guilty plea had already been entered.

The landlord was also ordered to pay £1000 towards the Council’s costs.

Councillor Leigh Hunt, portfolio holder for sustainable inclusive communities, said: “Rugby Borough Council’s duty is to ensure that all tenants are living in healthy and safe accommodation. In most cases the Council is able to work with landlords to ensure the necessary repair works are undertaken without further action. However there are occasions when landlords fail to do so and further action is necessary. Landlords should understand that the council will take prosecutions in cases where there is a clear failure to comply with formal notices or other legislative requirements. This prosecution was taken because the landlord has shown total disregard for his tenants’ safety and had failed to heed the advice that was given to him by officers.”

The Housing Act 2004 requires that all privately rented properties provide a safe and healthy environment for occupiers and visitors.

Landlords are required to ensure that their properties remain free from hazards which may pose a risk to the health and safety of their tenants and any visitors to the property.

Landlords of houses in multiple occupation must also ensure they maintain and manage their property in accordance with the relevant management regulations.

Any tenant concerned about accommodation standards or landlord behaviour should contact Rugby Borough Council on (01788) 533882.

The council wants to work proactively with landlords to improve conditions within the private rented sector to avoid having to take enforcement action and encourages landlords to contact them for advice on standards for rented accommodation.

The council has also recently launched its accreditation scheme for landlords to recognise those who rent out good standard accommodation and would encourage anyone looking for rented accommodation to use accredited landlords.

Further information on the accreditation scheme or accredited landlords is available by contacting Rugby Borough Council.