A buy-to-let landlord in Sheffield has been told that he has to pay £2,412 in court costs, fines and compensation after being prosecuted for harassing a tenant and failing to adequately manage his property.
Nilendu Das, of Carterknowle Avenue, who was convicted at Sheffield’s Magistrates Court this week, has also been ordered to undertake 180 hours of unpaid community work for bombarding his tenant with a number of text messages which disturbed him at night and while he was working.
The court heard how on one occasion Das sent ten text messages in a three minute period and on another occasion, 15 messages throughout the day, which included a text informing the tenant that he must vacate the property.
As well as pleading guilty of harassment in relation to the property on Cemetery Avenue, S11, Das also pleaded guilty to four health and safety breaches relating to the property on Sackville Road, with tenants being put at an increased risk of harm by fire. The court heard that there were damaged fire doors, an unprotected means of fire escape and faulty fire alarm systems.
This was not the first time that Sheffield City Council’s private housing team have had to deal with Das, who has previous convictions for failing to comply with an improvement notice and failure to adequately manage properties, as well as two previous convictions for harassment in February 2012 and August 2013, with the latter incident resulting in a 49 day prison sentence.
Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for housing at Sheffield City Council, said: “This case is serious. The landlord has been convicted twice before for similar offences and he knows how strictly the court treats these matters.
“We don’t just investigate issues where we hear about tenants being threatened or evicted illegally. As this case shows, we also prosecute when there is lower-level harassment and when the landlord acts in a way which is outside the law.
“Everyone deserves to live in safe, good quality housing regardless of whether they rent or own their home. I am determined to carry on clamping down on the very small minority of bad landlords in Sheffield that treat their tenants badly and tarnish the private rented sector.”