Rogue landlord ordered to pay ground-breaking fine
Leila Amjadi, aged 33, of Sutton Coldfield, was yesterday found guilty at Birmingham Magistrates Court of 35 House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) offences.
The offences were in relation to the failure to obtain HMO licences and for breaches under the HMO Management Regulations. She was ordered to pay a total fine of £182,314.90, the largest imposed on a landlord in Birmingham.
The offences were in relation to the four properties Ms Amjadi owns across Birmingham; 118 Dawlish Road, Selly Oak, 42 Oak Tree Lane, Selly Oak, 838 Pershore Road, Selly Oak and 456 Gillott Road, Edgbaston.
Ms Amjadi was fined £85,000, ordered to pay full costs to the Council of £22,974.90 and a victim surcharge of £170. In addition to this, she was ordered to pay a compensation order to 11 of the tenants, totalling £22,000.
Ms Amjadi ‘s company, Vertu Capital Ltd was also found guilty of 21 offences relating to two of the HMO properties in Selly Oak and was fined £52,000 plus a victim surcharge of £170.
In 2016, Birmingham City Council officers became aware that Ms Amjadi’s properties were being let without the appropriate HMO licences. Ms Amjadi has over 10 years’ experience in the property letting industry and was well aware of her responsibility to obtain licences, having previously made HMO licence applications. The Council also received numerous complaints from occupants and local residents regarding the poor maintenance of the properties.
Following inspections by council officers from the private rented service team, 31 breaches of the HMO Management Regulations were found, including missing fire blankets, fire doors that were either missing or inadequate, and smoke detectors which were hanging loose from the ceilings.
The district judge commented that, despite the significant income from her properties, Ms Amjadi was an unscrupulous landlord who did not care for the health and safety of her tenants. Her behaviour and excuses resulted in them suffering unacceptable living conditions.
Ms Amjadi was also found to have deliberately used delaying tactics when dealing with both her tenants and Birmingham City Council.
Robert James, Director of Housing at Birmingham City Council said, “We are delighted with the result of this case. This is the largest fine that Birmingham has seen for these type of offences, and it sends out a strong message to all landlords that Birmingham City Council will use all its’ enforcement powers to ensure that tenants are protected from rogue landlords who neglect their responsibilities”.