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Serial offender landlord in court again over HMO health and safety

A serial-offender landlord has been fined for putting tenants at serious harm from fire and exposing them to substandard and dangerous conditions.

Nilendu Das, of Sheffield, was convicted at the city’s magistrate court and ordered to pay over £7,000 in costs and fines for various housing offences as well as health and safety offences.

Das, who has previous convictions for tenant harassment, failure to comply with improvement notices and poor management of Houses in Multiple Occupation, resulting in prison sentences, as well as previous health and safety convictions, pleaded guilty to six further offences after inspections at three of his properties revealed management failings and breaches of the Housing Act 2004.


He also failed to ensure the safety of gas appliances and contravened an improvement notice which required a gas safety certificate for a restaurant he owns, and was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order with a requirement that he completes 150 hours unpaid work. He was ordered to pay a contribution to costs of £1600 and a victim surcharge of £181.

During the period December 2018 to March 2020, private housing standards officers investigating complaints about Das’ properties in Sheffield uncovered conditions relating to gross neglect of the properties and hazards caused by disrepair. 

Concerns consisted of inadequate fire detection and heating, damaged fire doors, serious damp, unsafe electrics including bypassed electricity meters and rat infestations leaving occupants vulnerable to serious risk of harm from fire and infection.

One property was in such a poor state of repair that a prohibition order was served, declaring it unfit to live in. When officers returned the following month, they discovered tenants had been allowed to continue living there and that the necessary work had not been completed, which constituted a breach of the prohibition order and a further offence.

All three properties occupied as HMOs were found to have serious breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006.

Councillor Paul Wood, Sheffield council cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety, says: “Mr Das shows a blatant disregard for the law and in doing so, puts the lives of his tenants at risk. He often attracts tenants who don’t tend to complain even though they are living in very poor housing conditions. We have given him very reasonable timescales to complete work but these have been ignored, leaving us no other choice than to pursue action through the courts.

“I hope the prosecution serves as a stark warning to landlords that the safety of our tenants remains a priority. Where landlords put the welfare and safety of tenants at risk and wilfully disregard their obligations under the law, we take action. We absolutely take a zero tolerance approach to anything that risks a life and landlords who have a complete disregard to the safety of their tenants who are at risk of loss of life.

"While the majority of landlords in the city are responsible, we are committed to investigating substandard conditions and bringing landlords who profit illegally from their actions to justice. I encourage tenants to report issues and concerns immediately so that we can investigate."

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    Tenants from hell that no one else will home by the sound of things, likely much of the damage was caused by the tenants themselves, renovate the properties to a better standard then rent to better tenants, leave the dross to the council to home.

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    No matter how bad the tenants are (and I agree some things may well be caused by them such as damp/condensation, dirty conditions, mould, rats etc) there is no excuse for no gas safety checks or unsafe electrics. By passing electric meters would be a reason to have tenants evicted sharpish if it was done by them and picked up on routine inspection. It is these kind of landlords who give rise to the ridiculous level of legislation the rest of us have to deal with. If he is a repeat offender he should be banned from being a landlord as he is clearly not fit. Otherwise what is the point of licensing??

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    There is no excuse for not having the annual Gas Checks / Certificates etc. HMO’s didn’t improve much only the Councils Bank Balance. We could have been required to do all those things without a licensing Scheme, it’s just eating up the money that would otherwise be spent on improvements. I have to find another £12k this year to re-do this ponzi scheme. Perhaps this LL should have some East European Tenants that knows how to live, have pride in their home and keep the place spotless, probably decorate for free, most are a breath of fresh air.


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