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Landlord, 86, fined after rat droppings found at unsafe HMO

A landlord has been fined £6,000 for failing to properly maintain a HMO in Reading.

Nidan Singh, 76, has also been ordered to pay council costs of £1,956 and a victim surcharge of £181.

Council officers inspected the property twice in 2019 and discovered a rat entry point and rat droppings in the kitchen.


In addition, the fire detectors were found to be faulty; a bathroom was in significant disrepair, with large areas of wall tiling missing and the toilet seat held on by string; damage to a fire door, a broken light switch in the hallway; and several radiators had been removed from the central heating system.

At the magistrates hearing, Singh pleaded guilty to six offences under section 234 of the Housing Act 2004 for failing to comply with his duties under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006.


He also pleaded guilty to one offence of failing to comply with a notice served under section 16 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and one offence of failing to comply with a notice served under section 235 of the Housing Act 2004.

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    Going back to the early 90s I had 3 young people living in a terraced house, I had an irate phone call from them reporting rats, this was before the days of wheelie bins, I called round to find 20 black bin bags full of waste stacked by the back door, they were too bone idle to take them round the front once per week for the bin men to collect, no small wounder they had rats, they lived like rats.

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    • S S
    • 22 April 2021 09:31 AM

    If the LL doesn't perform his duties then he should be fined - however I expect that £6k doesn't really cause him any concern. These offences happened in 2019 - 2 visits so no excuse. If you can't do the job propertly should not be a LL.
    Standards wont improve with Regulation as LL do not have to be qualified. Reason to make it so that only qualified people can manage property - so if a LL doesn't qualify as a property professional he should give the job of managing to an qualified licenced property professional. And people who continue to manage but don't use a qualified person should be fined at the level were the risk is so much greater than the reward that it is not worth the risk.
    This is the only way to really improve the industry. Good LL do do/ will do what they need to do to comply with regulation and ensure good standards in the PRS and in particular HMO management - Bad LL will continue to fly under the radar until they get caught - Getting caught should mean financial penalties that make taking the risk untenable.


    Rubbish. Common sense and a willingness to work hard are all that's needed to provide safe homes - but tenants also need common sense to keep their homes safe.

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    Another Digital Academic out of Uni, talking rubbish. So give us
    Back control of our properties not excluding us from the Property. How can we know if there’s rats or not if we are too scared of the Tenants running to the Council to give us a
    Big fine and the Rogues Council’s love it. The fact is we have been given of Compliance with no power to carry out what is required. Please tell me what Authority they left us to run our Business, when a problem arises the owner soon finds out. Yes you’ll know all about professionalism with your pin stripe suites, you are not LL’s, just doing what poorly paid Office girls used to do but pay yourselves £60k / £80k pa on the back of LL’s.

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    Rodents can be really difficult to get rid of, especially if the tenants have pets as it means you can't use poison. My handyman has tried everything and I told my tenants to contact the council's pest control unit and I'll pay the bill, but they said they did that and the council said they would just do everything we've already done. It's a lose-lose for the landlord.


    Another argument for banning pets.


    I had a family of squirrels in a loft last yr, that was fun chasing them out and keeping them out as I blocked the hole they had made to get in, they were not happy, maybe I acted illegally again and should have got a court order first LOL.

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    I think the council is mistaken. They are Siberian hamsters, Manuel told me so. Ask Basil.

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    Squirrels are a serious problem when they get into your loft, it’s amazing how good they climb especially it you got ivy, then chew your Electric Cables.
    The other ones that’s a cursed nuisance is 🦇 are a protected species and probably give you the virus.


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