Private landlord fined over £10,000 for endangering tenants’ lives

09 May 2023

STROUD DISTRICT Council’s environmental health officers have realised a successful prosecution against Amonbir Mander, the former landlord and owner of The London Hotel in Stroud, who has received a combined total of £10,478 in fines and costs in the wake of breaching fire safety regulations.

When an environmental health officer inspected the property in July last year, it was discovered that the premises fell below acceptable safety standards and that there was a “serious fire safety risk”.

It transpired that the building was being used as a House in Multiple Occupation and, at the time of the inspection, was licensed for 20 tenants.

Mander pleaded guilty to regulatory offences at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on 3 April 2023. He was fined £4,608 for the offence of being in breach of the fire safety regulations. He was also ordered to pay the investigation costs (ie £1,568.00) and Stroud District Council’s legal costs of £4,112.50 in full.

Additionally, Mander was ordered to pay a Victim Surcharge of £190.00. The total amount Mander was ordered to pay came to £10,478.00.

The London Hotel, which is located on London Road, is now in the hands of new owners having been sold by Mander prior to his court appearance. The new owners are working closely with officers from Stroud District Council in a bid to improve standards.

Number of complaints

Members of Stroud District Council’s private sector housing renewal team work with private landlords and tenants to ensure that rented accommodation in the district is of good quality and, importantly, meets legal safety standards.

Every year, Stroud District Council receives a number of complaints from private tenants about the standard of private accommodation and will take enforcement action when and where necessary. Fines of up to £30,000 can be imposed as a civil penalty per offence.

Landlord prosecutions are rare given that most landlords work with Stroud District Council’s officers to improve standards.

Serve as a warning

Councillor Mattie Ross, chair of Stroud District Council’s Housing Committee, explained: “This prosecution should serve as a warning to landlords who don’t meet the required standards. We will take legal action to protect the Health and Safety of private sector tenants.”

Ross added: “All landlords have a Duty of Care to their tenants. Prosecutions are costly and time-consuming. I’m grateful for the diligence of our environmental health officers in successfully prosecuting this case.”

Councillor Lucas Schoemaker, vice-chair of Stroud District Council’s Housing Committee, concluded: “I urge all tenants to contact us if they believe their accommodation is unsafe. Relevant information for both tenants and landlords can be accessed on the Stroud District Council website.”