The landlords of a large property in Kingswood have been fined almost £27,000 for breaching a number of regulations, including fire safety.
Mr Bhahinder Singh Dulay and Mr Munjit Singh Dulay (trading as M B Estate Ltd) of Rudgeway in South Gloucestershire were found guilty in their absence when the case was heard at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Friday 9 December.
The landlords were prosecuted for failure to comply with an Improvement Notice, including a category 1 fire hazard, and incurred fines and costs totalling £26,761.61.
The court heard that South Gloucestershire Council’s Private Sector Housing department were asked to visit Linden House, High Street, Kingswood following complaints of disrepair and poor management we received from tenants and the local Neighbourhood Beat Officer for the area. The property is a large former hotel that has been converted into 22 self-contained flats, which are occupied mainly by young couples and families.
Officers visited the property to assess if there were any hazards that posed a risk to the health and safety of the tenants and any visitors to the property. Several issues were identified including fire hazards, risk of falls, damp and mould. The landlord M B Estate Ltd was contacted about these issues on several occasions, but no repairs were completed and the landlord failed to attend any meetings to discuss matters.
Following inspections of the property, an enforcement notice was served but to date, none of the work which was required to bring the property up to scratch has been satisfactorily carried out.
For failure to comply with the fire hazard, the court imposed a fine of £15,000. For failure to comply with the repair hazards, the court imposed a fine of £10,000. In addition, the company have to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and South Gloucestershire Council were awarded full costs of £1,591.61.
South Gloucestershire Council’s Environment & Community Services Committee Chair Cllr Heather Goddard said: “As in all cases we try to resolve issues informally with the landlord, but MB Estates failed to engage with officers and carry out the necessary improvements to the property.
“The majority of landlords provide good quality accommodation for their tenants, but it is important that we take enforcement action against those who leave vulnerable individuals and households living in poor and dangerous conditions. This case sends out a strong message that South Gloucestershire Council will not tolerate landlords who fail to comply with their legal responsibilities.
“Our private sector housing officers are always happy to offer advice and support to landlords to help them ensure their properties are up to standard.”
Avon Fire and Rescue Service are also considering possible enforcement action against the landlords, for not carrying out any of the required work to address fire hazards.
Tenants of privately rented properties in the South Gloucestershire area can report issues of disrepair that are not being addressed by their landlord by contacting the Private Sector Housing team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting their local One Stop Shop.
For more information visit www.southglos.gov.uk/housing