LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

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Landlord could face jail after bombarding tenant with texts

Landlord could face jail after bombarding tenant with texts

A landlord who wrote into his tenancy agreements that any tenant who complained would be charged £350 could be facing jail after he bombarded a tenant with text messages demanding money.

Jennifer Okojie complained to Sheffield Council after moving into a house owned by Nilendu Das.

It had mould growing on walls, a broken back door, no insulation and no handrails on the stairs.

Das ignored orders to bring the houses he let up to a safe standard, and was prosecuted by the council.

He pleaded guilty at Sheffield Magistrates Court to four counts of failure to comply with improvement notices and asked for seven similar offences, regarding another property, to be taken into consideration. He also admitted interfering with the peace and comfort of Miss Okojie.

Messages to Miss Okojie which read “give me my money” and “when am I going to get my money?” were shown to the court.

Paul Barber, prosecuting, said: “He should have tried to get any unpaid rent through the correct channel and served proper notices.”

Cllr Harry Harpham, cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods at Sheffield Council, said: “We will not tolerate this kind of activity and are committed to making sure that private renting offers a safe and desirable form of housing.

“This includes making sure that there are high standards and responsible management.

“The details of this case are disgusting. Nobody should be treated the way the victim was. The only saving grace is that we have managed to take this rogue landlord to task.”

Das is already subject to a suspended sentence after he changed the locks on a flat after a tenant complained the property was squalid and unsafe.

Pre-sentence reports are now being prepared.