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Published : 26/07/2012 00:00

Landlord prosecuted for shocking property standards

A Leeds landlord has been prosecuted for failing to keep a rented property in East End Park, Leeds in a liveable condition.

On 18 July 2012 Ms Zaqiya Bano Rafiq of Lakeland Crescent, Leeds, LS17 appeared at Leeds Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to fourteen offences relating to breaches of her selective licence held in relation to a rented property.

Ms Rafiq was fined £1800, which included £300.00 for each of the six serious offences,  and ordered to repay costs of £1944.53 to Leeds City Council

Officers visited the property unannounced and were appalled to find that the tenant has spent a cold winter in the property with no heating other than a small electric fire which he had bought himself.

Not only was there no heating, but there were pigeons living in the roof, the house did not have any fire doors or smoke detectors,  the roof was leaking and there were missing hand rails. The inspection revealed a total of fourteen beaches of selective licence conditions. Ms Rafiq was given appropriate time to make the repairs, but when officers visited again, no work had be carried out.

As part of a campaign to improve housing in the Cross Green and East End Park part of the city , the Selective Licensing Scheme ensures that all owners of privately-rented properties need a licence to operate.  Failure to get a licence, or comply with the conditions, can lead to a fine.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“It is despicable that any property could be left to get into this state of disrepair.

“Every tenant has the right to live in a home which meets a certain set of standards and that remains safe for them to live in.

“This is the first prosecution in the Selective Licensing Area of a landlord for failing to maintain property standards for a tenant – it is simply not acceptable to leave a house in this state, and this prosecution serves as a key reminder to other landlords to ensure standards are kept high.

Notes to editors:
The cost of the five year Selective Licence is normally £525 which equates to approximately £2.00 per week over a five year period.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk