Council wins landmark court case against rogue landlord
In a landmark case that will be viewed with interest by councils across the country, City of Wolverhampton Council has secured a Criminal Behaviour Order against a rogue landlord.
On 7 April 2016, Jaspal Singh Sahota of Blackpool, became the first landlord in the country to be issued with a Criminal Behaviour Order, which will span 10 years.
The ruling was made by Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court being satisfied that Mr Sahota was causing harassment, alarm and distress to his tenants through the poor standards and management of his privately rented properties in the city.
Lesley Roberts, City of Wolverhampton Council Strategic Director for Housing, said:
“This is an excellent result and shows that we are determined to use whatever legislation we can in order to protect our residents from rogue landlords.
“We are incredibly proud of the work our housing officers do to ensure housing standards are maintained across the board.
“As a council we have a wide package of housing measures in place aimed at improving standards across Wolverhampton and this case illustrates them being put into action.“
The case was built around Mr Sahota’s properties in Osier Place and Sherwood Street in Wolverhampton – but also considered his management of other properties in the local area.
The order requires him to employ a third party agent to manage his properties on his behalf. He must also submit to the council a list of all his properties and his interest in them for rental purposes.
If Mr Sahota does not comply with the order, including having a suitable managing agent in place by 1 June 2016, he will be in breach of the order and could be imprisoned for up to 5 years and/or face an unlimited fine.
Jailed for fire safety offences
In a further in the Midlands, the Birmingham Mail have reported that a “greedy and cynical” landlord who put “profit before the safety of tenants” has been jailed.
Cyrus Bassiri was sent to prison for 19 months over a “catalogue” of safety breaches at a four-storey address he owned in Hagley Road, Edgbaston. Birmingham Crown Court heard two fire alarms did not work, an escape route was blocked by a washing machine and display cabinet, emergency lighting was incorrectly fitted and a fire door was damaged.
You can read the full story here.