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Landlord caught out over HMO housing migrant shift workers

Rogue landlord Siddika Begum of Salisbury has been prosecuted for failing to licence a house in multiple occupation in the town.

Begum pleaded guilty to three offences at Swindon Magistrates Court - operating an unlicensed HMO; falsifying information when requested by the council; and contraventions under the HMO Management Regulations by failing to provide gas, electrical and fire safety certification.

Begum was fined over £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,224, plus a victim surcharge.


The property - a mid-terrace, three storey house - was continually occupied from March 2019 to September 2020 by up to 20 Romanian adults and their children. Many of the adults occupying the property were local shift workers. 

During the course of the investigation Begum denied that the property was being used as an HMO and claimed she lived there with a couple of friends despite evidence to the contrary.

A spokesperson for Wiltshire council says: “Because the property was overcrowded and unregulated, not only did it pose a potential health and safety risk to the occupants, the neighbours were impacted by significant levels of anti-social behaviour, large amounts of domestic waste causing rats, together with fly tipping and various motor offences including a large number of unpaid parking fines. 

"The evidence required to take this case to prosecution couldn't have been achieved without the assistance of many different agencies, including Wiltshire Police and was particularly challenging given the Coronavirus situation at the time.”

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  • icon

    20 People + children, but that how these people live, one of them rents a house then the rest move in.

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    Can’t defend the Landlady for pretending to be living there or not having a License or Certificates. Why would it need the help of several Agencies to bring the Prosecution when usually they only need the Tenants say so to fine LL. The Tenants weren’t prosecuted for overcrowding and occupying the property illegally, its cannot be legal for 20 + to have live in the house, no Action against Occupants and don’t know what parking fines has to do with the LL. HMO license don’t stop over crowding that’s rife since LL has by made powerless to stop it and excluded from the Property. The only difference is if you don’t have a license it’s bigger fines. There was no overcrowding or subletting before licensing and other anti-LL Regulations brought in, in recent years enabling or guaranteeing this behaviour to happen this is a by-product of one sided Regulation.

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    This is why you always do HMOs through a letting agent - there's an email trail of you having no knowledge,

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Paltry fine, - this genuinely rogue landlord probably made more than that in a month !

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    AQ P,
    I had a HMO house to let. I approached a large West London Letting Agent in his big Office that I knew, firstly he was all business and when he realised it was a HMO he said we stopped doing those it’s a minefield, so there you go use a letting Agent even they are sick of it, but he couldn’t get enough to let to Council. Sorry I don’t have any knowledge my apologies.


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