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Fine reduced but ban promised

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A Dudley landlord has succeeded in having a fine totalling over £150,000 reduced on appeal to just over £30,000.

Latif Rehman had, in 2019, been fined a total of £151,070 by Wolverhampton Magistrates Court for three breaches of an Emergency Prohibition Order served in relation to a house of multiple occupation.

Dudley Council officers originally inspected the three storey property following a complaint from one of the tenants. They found fire and electrical safety hazards as well as risk of entry by intruders and deemed the property posed an imminent risk to the safety of its tenants.

A subsequent re-inspection found that insufficient works had been carried out to rectify the problems. Fire doors still failed to comply with regulations, access to the property was not properly controlled and damp was still present in one of the properties.

Rehman appealed the conviction.

Earlier this month Dudley Magistrates upheld the convictions but reduced the fine to £10,000 for each offence and ordered Rehman to pay £2,250 in costs and £170 victim surcharge, a total £32,420. A collection order was served.

‘I’m pleased the Magistrates upheld this conviction. The evidence against Rehman clearly demonstrates he failed in his duty as a landlord and his lack of action put people at risk’, commented councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member for housing and community services.

‘Our action doesn’t stop here. Now the conviction has been upheld we will be applying for an order to prevent him from being a landlord anywhere again. Rogue landlords who rent out properties of a poor standard will not be tolerated in this borough’.