Birmingham HMO landlord ordered to pay ground breaking fine and compensate her tenants
In a court case with national significance, Leila Amjadi, aged 33, of Sutton Coldfield, has been found guilty at Birmingham Magistrates Court of thirty five House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) offences.
The offences were in relation to the failure to obtain HMO licences and for breaches under the HMO Management Regulations. At court on 18 April 2018, She was ordered to pay a total fine of £182,314.90 which is the largest imposed on a landlord in Birmingham and one of the largest ever recorded in the country.
The offences were in relation to the four properties Ms Amjadi owns across Birmingham: Dawlish Road, Oak Tree Lane and Pershore Road in Selly Oak and Gillott Road in Edgbaston.
Ms Amjadi was fined £85,000, ordered to pay full costs to the council of £22,974.90 and a victim surcharge of £170. In addition to this, she was ordered to pay a compensation order to 11 of the tenants, totalling £22,000.
Ms Amjadi ‘s company, Vertu Capital Ltd was also found guilty of 21 offences relating to two of the HMO properties in Selly Oak and was fined £52,000 plus a victim surcharge of £170.
In 2016, Birmingham City Council officers became aware that Ms Amjadi’s properties were being let without the appropriate HMO licences. Ms Amjadi has over 10 years’ experience in the property letting industry and was well aware of her responsibility to obtain licences, having previously made HMO licence applications. The council also received numerous complaints from occupants and local residents regarding the poor maintenance of the properties.
Following inspections by council officers from the private rented service team, many breaches of the HMO Management Regulations were found, including missing fire blankets, fire doors that were either missing or inadequate, and smoke detectors which were hanging loose from the ceilings.
The district judge commented that, despite the significant income from her properties, Ms Amjadi was an unscrupulous landlord who did not care for the health and safety of her tenants. Her behaviour and excuses resulted in them suffering unacceptable living conditions.
Ms Amjadi was also found to have deliberately used delaying tactics when dealing with both her tenants and Birmingham City Council.
Robert James, Director of Housing at Birmingham City Council said:
“We are delighted with the result of this case. This is the largest fine that Birmingham has seen for these type of offences, and it sends out a strong message to all landlords that Birmingham City Council will use all its’ enforcement powers to ensure that tenants are protected from rogue landlords who neglect their responsibilities“.
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