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Landlord found guilty of six housing offences

24 March 2020

The landlord of a House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) in West Watford has been found guilty of six offences under the Housing Act 2004, including fire safety issues.

The offences relate to a property owned by Mr Mohammed Khaliq of Salt Hill Drive, Slough on Durban Road West in which up to ten people were living in very poor conditions.

Mr Khaliq failed to licence the property and breached regulations by operating a HMO (house in multiple occupation) 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.

Evidence was provided by a police officer, two Environmental Health Officers from Watford Borough Council and one of the previous tenants.

The judge found Mr Khaliq guilty of all charges and in summing up said that all four witnesses gave clear, credible and helpful evidence. She issued a fine of £17,000, a victim surcharge of £181 and ordered full costs of £10,488.62 to be paid to the council, totalling £27,669.62.

Watford Borough Council is in contact with the tenants and continues to support them in their illegal eviction case.  

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.”

HMOs must meet certain standards relating to fire safety and amenities provided. If a HMO is occupied by five or more tenants, a licence from the Council is required.