Unlicenced HMO Landlord Fined for Failing to take Fire Safety Precautions

A LANDLORD of an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) who failed to take proper fire safety precautions has been left with a court bill of £2,500.

Mohammed Nazir (58) of Crescent Road, Reading, also failed to license the HMO in Grange Avenue. In May 2017, the Council’s private sector housing team inspected the house owned by Mr Nazir as it was suspected the property was being operated as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) without the required licence being in place. Officers confirmed the property was occupied by seven students and was a licensable HMO. During the same inspection, a number of fire safety breaches were identified, including fire doors in disrepair and a broken smoke detector in one of the bedrooms. On 26th January 2018, Mohammed Nazir pleaded guilty at Reading Magistrates Court to offences under the Housing Act 2004 in failing to obtain an HMO licence for the property and in breaching the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006. The breaches included:
  • Fire doors not having smoke seals, intumescent strip and self-closers
  • Internal doors having disconnected self-closers
  • Smoke detector not maintained in good order
Mr Nazir was ordered to pay fines and costs totaling £2,500.

Cllr John Ennis, Lead Member for Housing, said:

“It is simply not acceptable for landlords of HMOs to flout regulations when it comes to the safety of their tenants. Most private landlords behave responsibly but this case demonstrates that the Council continues to stand up for Reading’s private renters. “I am glad that our Private Sector Housing Team, with the support of our lawyers, are there to stick up for private renters and take action against the minority of landlords who fail to put in the required safety precautions.” An HMO is a house or flat occupied by three or more tenants, who form two or more households and share amenities (such as bathrooms or kitchens). Houses with three or more storeys and five or more tenants need to have an HMO licence. Find out more about HMOs here www.reading.gov.uk/hmo