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Landlord who put tenants at risk is brought to justice

A landlord has been fined after being found guilty of letting out a student property in Selly Oak which had a string of fire-related safety issues.

Various other defects were discovered, including no fire door, storing combustible materials in the escape route under the stairs, no self-closing device to the fire door on the ground floor front bedroom, as well as insecure and defective treads on the staircase.

Council officials uncovered the dangerous living conditions when tipped off by a concerned undergraduate living at the property in Tiverton Road.

Despite written requests, many of the issues were not resolved and officers decided to prosecute.

Birmingham City Council said landlord Amit Sharma risked the lives of his tenants by flouting the rules and repeatedly ignoring demands for improvements.

The authority spoke out after the 34-year-old, of Brocklebank Road, London, was fined £2,795 at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court and handed £1,520 costs having accepted that he failed to obtain a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) licence and breached HMO management regulations.

City housing boss Councillor Peter Griffiths said: “A tenant living in a bedsit of three or more storeys is almost 17 times more likely to be killed in a fire than an adult living in in a similar single-occupancy house.

“Quite apart from the poor decoration throughout the property, Sharma showed no regard for the safety of his young tenants and put them in danger.

“I am glad we have been able to protect these tenants and bring Sharma to justice through our specialist work on rogue landlords.

“I would urge tenants in similar situations to contact the council’s private rented services team for help.”

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