Two rogue landlords have been fined a total of £8,000 and ordered to pay more than £2,000 costs after admitting renting out an unlicensed HMO.
Mohammed Zulfiquar Wahid, 41, and Mohammed Ghafoor Ahmed, 40, both admitted having control of or managing a house in multiple occupation without a current licence.
Reading magistrates fined each of them £4,000 with £1,134 costs. The offences – which took place in 2013 – relate to a property which Ahmed owns and his brother Wahid manages.
Officers from the council’s private sector housing team began an investigation in November 2013, after one of the six tenants then living at the property contacted them. They found that the property had been unlicensed as a house in multiple occupation since 2011, although a number of tenants had been living there.
A statement after the case by Richard Davies, lead councillor for housing in Reading, shows how easy it is for negligent landlords to be spotted these days.
“Anyone renting out an HMO with three or more storeys and five or more occupants must have a license to do so. Tenants can check if their landlord has a licence on the council website and if any landlord is in doubt about whether they need a license they should contact the Council’s HMO team. Unlicensed HMOs can also be reported using a form on the website” says Davies.