An Oxford landlord with a previous conviction for housing offences was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay the City Council £1,535 in costs when he appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 20 March 2018.
The City Council successfully prosecuted Mr Imtiaz Gulzar for the second time in six months for failing to comply with his responsibilities under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) (England) Regulations 2006 at a large HMO on Cowley Road, Oxford.
Mr Gulzar, (41) of Cowley Road, pleaded guilty to:
- failure to keep his property in good order and repair;
- failure to ensure that all notices indicating the location of means of escape from fire are displayed in positions within the HMO that enable them to be clearly visible to the occupiers;
- failure to maintain property in good and clean decorative repair, and
- failure to maintain property in a safe and working condition
After hearing the facts of the case and considering a written statement of mitigation, as well as a notice of intention to cite a previous conviction, the Court proceeded to fine Mr Gulzar £10,000 and ordered him to pay £1,535 towards the Council’s costs.
In November 2017, Mr Gulzar was prosecuted for failing to comply with the conditions attached to an HMO licence for a property in Iffley Road, Oxford. In that case, he was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £1,425 in costs.
Councillor Alex Hollingsworth, Board Member for Planning and Regulatory Services, said: “The City Council is committed to ensuring high standards in the private rented sector and protecting tenants against landlords who do not meet their responsibilities under the law. I am pleased that in this second prosecution of Mr Gulzar, the Court imposed a higher fine than in the first case.
“This is one of the last cases to go through the courts as we are now using the new financial penalty powers that came into force in April last year. These powers allow us to issue financial penalties of up to £30,000 for certain housing offences rather than take up cases to the courts for prosecution. On average, we have issued penalties that are nearly four times what the courts used to fine landlords, so we believe the new powers will provide an even greater deterrent against violations of housing regulations by landlords.”