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£10k bill for Birmingham HMO landlord

A Birmingham landlord has been fined £6,400 and ordered to pay £3,696 costs and a £120 victim surcharge for failing to licence an HMO and breaching HMO regulations.

Ayoub Yakoob, 38, of Morden in Surrey pleaded guilty to failure to obtain an HMO licence and for nine breaches of the regulations at Birmingham Magistrates Court.

His letting agent Mohammed Shehzad, also known as Ashsard Khan, was fined £450 with £150 costs and a victim surcharge of £20 after pleading guilty to nine breaches of the HMO management regulations.

When Birmingham City Council officers inspected the property, they found that the fire alarm wasn’t working, the smoke detectors were missing, there were no notices indicating the escape route, and there was a hole in the ceiling of the main escape route which prevented it from being fire resistant for the statutory half an hour. In addition the self-closing devices for the fire doors were defective or missing.

Alongside the breaches concerning fire safety, officers found that chimney breasts had been removed and the chimney was not adequately supported, walls were left unplastered, rooms were covered in plaster dust, mould was growing in a bedroom, one of the bathrooms had been removed, the front door could not close and building rubble had been left in the rear yard.

Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhood management and homes Cllr John Cotton said: “The HMO licence exists so that officers can carry out checks to ensure the safety of tenants. Failing to apply for the licence meant that these checks were avoided for some time.

“Mr Yakoob and Mr Shehzad put their tenants’ lives at risk by failing to provide basic fire safety measures and their tenants were also forced to live in filthy and insecure accommodation.”

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