Third prosecution for landlord over bedsit
28 March 2017
A DUDLEY landlord who kept properties in a state of disrepair and flouted fire regulations has been ordered to pay £10,000 for his dangerous and neglectful behaviour.
Sole director and shareholder of Northgate (Dudley) Ltd, Rakesh Sandhi, had converted a property in Kings Street, Dudley into bedsits. Over the past 15 months he has netted an income from the property of over £24,000.
Inspectors from the Dudley Metropolitan Council’s private sector housing enforcement team visited the property and found the units to be filthy and dangerous with total disrespect for fire safety regulations. They also identified that Sandhi failed in his duty as a manager to take safety measures, in particular in relation to keeping fire escapes free from obstruction and maintained in good order and repair. He also failed to provide his name, address and contact details to each household in the HMO and detailer were not displayed in a prominent public area, as required.
Sandhi appeared at Dudley Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to 24 charges under Regulation 4 of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006); two charges under Regulation 7 of the Regulations, one under Regulation three and one final charge under Section 72 (1) of the Housing Act (2004). He was fined a total of £11,200 and ordered to pay full costs of £1,936.65.
This is the second conviction for Mr Sandhi in relation to this property, having been convicted for similar offences in 2014. It is also Mr Sandhi’s third conviction in terms of management of multiple occupancy properties, as he was convicted for similar offences for a different property in High Street, Dudley in 2016.
After the hearing the council’s cabinet member for housing councillor Gaye Partridge said: “We will not stint when it comes to challenging and prosecuting landlords who put their tenants’ safety and very lives at risk. These properties were in a shocking state of disrepair, but more significantly flouted essential fire safety regulations which are designed to help keep tenants safe.”