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Landlord fined over £11,600 for overcrowding

A landlord in Luton has been fined £11,620 for letting an unlicensed and poorly-maintained house in the town which is classed as a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

Following visits from Luton Borough Council housing officers, Tariq Elahi, of Leagrave Road in Luton, has appeared before Luton Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty for failing to obtain an HMO licence along with seven additional management breaches.

A number of safety violations were found in the rental property on Williton Road, LU2, including obstructions to doorways and fire exits, a broken light bulb, a lack of fire detectors, incomplete walls between bedrooms and the hallway, fire doors that were missing, as well as overcrowding.

Elahi had previously received a caution in respect of a licensed HMO at another address.

A Luton Borough Council spokesman commented: “Being a landlord carries with it significant legal responsibilities and the council is continuing its Rogue Landlord project which aims to protect tenants and prevent them being ripped off by unscrupulous individuals.

“Too many tenants are being offered squalid and dangerous accommodation, the owners of which are more interested in exploitation than responsible behaviour.”

Cllr Tom Shaw, portfolio holder for housing, added: “We will not tolerate landlords who rent properties which fail to meet standards. The council has a commitment to ensure that private landlords in Luton do not take financial advantage of vulnerable tenants and put their lives at risk.

“We will not hesitate to prosecute landlords who show a disregard for the law and their responsibilities towards occupants.”

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