A buy to let investor has been found guilty of 35 HMO offences – and has to pay a total fine of £182,314.90, thought to be one of the largest penalties ever for an individual landlord.
Leila Amjadi, of Sutton Coldfield, was found guilty at Birmingham Magistrates Court of failing to obtain HMO licences and for breaches under the HMO Management Regulations.
The offences were in relation to the four properties she owned across Birmingham.
Amjadi was fined £85,000, ordered to pay full costs to the council of £22,974.90 and a victim surcharge of £170. In addition to this, she was ordered to pay a compensation order to 11 of the tenants, totalling £22,000.
Amjadi‘s company, Vertu Capital Ltd was also found guilty of 21 offences relating to two of the HMO properties in Selly Oak and was fined £52,000 plus a victim surcharge of £170.
In 2016, Birmingham council officers became aware that Amjadi’s properties were being let without the appropriate HMO licences.
She has over 10 years’ experience in the property letting industry and was well aware of her responsibility to obtain licences, having previously made HMO licence applications.
The council also received numerous complaints from occupants and local residents regarding the poor maintenance of the properties.
Following inspections by officers, 31 breaches of the HMO Management Regulations were found including missing fire blankets, fire doors that were either missing or inadequate, and smoke detectors which were hanging loose from the ceilings.
The district judge commented that, despite the significant income from her properties, Amjadi was an unscrupulous landlord who did not care for the health and safety of her tenants.
Amjadi was also found to have deliberately used delaying tactics when dealing with both her tenants and the council.
A spokesman for the council says: “This is the largest fine that Birmingham has seen for these type of offences and it sends out a strong message to all landlords that Birmingham city council will use all its enforcement powers to ensure that tenants are protected from rogue landlords who neglect their responsibilities”.
Source: Letting Agent Today