RATS! The tenants let them in, claims landlord in court case......
A landlord prosecuted over a run-down house said that rats were in the property because his tenants had opened the door and let them in.
Kamran Qurban, 26, was renting out all seven bedrooms of the three-storey house but had failed to register it as a House in Multiple Occupation.
Aylesbury magistrates heard how the tenants, which included families with young children, were living in the rat-infested house.
There were no smoke alarms, fire doors or fire extinguishers, the kitchen and refrigeration facilities were inadequate and overcrowding was a concern.
Aylesbury Vale District Council was tipped off by an anonymous phone call from one of the tenants.
Despite repeated inspections and several warnings, Qurban failed to remedy issues. He eventually installed several fire doors, but they were said to be of poor quality and ill-fitting. He produced valid gas and electric safety certificates after months of badgering.
Prosecutor Kate Round said: “He said the tenants had left the back door open and let the rats in.”
Qurban failed to appear before magistrates, and in his absence he was fined £15,000 for failing to register an HMO and £1,000 each for breaching four regulations relating to failure to provide proper hygiene, sanitation and drainage facilities; adequate fire safety and overcrowding at the property.
Qurban will also have to pay £5,521 costs and a victim surcharge of £120, bringing the total amount payable up to £25,521.
Cllr Sir Beville Stanier, cabinet member for environment and health, said: “This is an excellent outcome which serves as a stark reminder to all landlords and letting agents that they must comply with the law or face the consequences of legal action through the courts.
“The council will prosecute those landlords who don’t have licensed properties.”