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Scottish court grants first private landlord disqualification order

The first disqualification order against a private landlord north of the border has been granted by a court in Fife.

The man, understood to be Mohammed Murtaza, 47, from Kirkcaldy, was found guilty of breaching both the Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004 and the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, which sheriff Gilchrist described as “a flagrant breach of legislation”.

The landlord was convicted at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court for continuing as a landlord even through his registration had been rejected by Fife Council in 2015 because he had six previous convictions for failing to comply with his private landlord duties under the Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004 and for being in breach of Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998.

John Mills, head of housing at Fife Council, said: “A significant proportion of private landlords are of good character and comply with the law. However, there are some who act unlawfully.

“We work closely with our partner services including Private Housing Standards, Safer Communities, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland to assist and support landlords to comply with the legislative requirements of being ‘fit and proper’ landlords.

“The outcome of this particular case sends a clear message to private landlords in Fife that the council will continue to take all appropriate action to protect tenants and improve property standards in the private sector.” 

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