‘Unsafe’ houses see landlord receive fine
AMIR ASHAR was prosecuted for renting two neighbouring homes that were ‘overcrowded and unsafe’, and which featured fire safety breaches.
Manchester Evening News reported on the prosecution of Mr Ashar, after inspectors discovered that two neighbouring homes he was landlord of were ‘overcrowded and unsafe’, and both houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The properties, 11 and 13 Cromwell Road in Salford, Manchester, were said to have been in ‘serious breach of housing regulations’, with investigators visiting after a warrant was executed at number 13 due to the belief that it was overcrowded.
On inspection, they discovered that the house was not fitted with an alarm system ‘designed for the style of let’ it was, and did not have fire doors leading to the house’s escape route. In turn, it had a cellar that ‘did not provide’ 30 minutes protection in the event of a fire, with gas and electric suppliers called in to disconnect supplies because ‘they found it was unsafe and had been tampered with’.
While this inspection was ongoing, officers noticed a number of people leaving number 11, and used their powers to enter that property, finding that the fire alarm did not work, and that there were no fire doors leading to the escape route. It was later confirmed by witnesses that 11 people lived there as well. Mr Ashar was fined £55,000 by Manchester Property Tribunal, after an appeal hearing for breaching the regulations at both properties and failing to licence one of them.
Paul Dennett, mayor of Salford, stated: ‘In Salford we introduced selective licensing to wipe bad landlords out of the city and improve standards for all the people who live in rented accommodation. We also need to make sure we have the right type of housing mix in particular areas of the city.
‘Tenants and communities should not be exploited so our aim is to make sure that housing is up to standard and this city does not suffer from unscrupulous landlords. Thanks to the proactive work from our housing officers we have been able to take action. But I’d encourage anybody who has any concerns about a property that they live in, or one they are aware of, to make contact with us.’