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Manchester agent’s £21k fine confirmed

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Housing letting and management company Mecca Properties (M/CR) Ltd  has been fined over £21,000 by Manchester City Council for breach of HMO regulations.

Announcement that Mecca had lost its appeal against the fine, has brought to a close a case that has been running since August 2020. It was then that, following an investigation by the Council’s Rogue Landlords Team, Mecca was issued a civil penalty notice in relation to an HMO it managed.

The Council said it had found fundamental fire safety breaches, including obstructions to escape ways, including doors that could not be unlocked without keys, lack of smoke alarms. The company had failed to provide a gas safety certificate when requested, and deficiencies were found in the electrical installation.  

Parts of the property were found to be in a poor state of repair, including the hallway floors and the bathroom. It was also found to be dirty and a broken window in the kitchen had been covered with a ‘to let’ sign.  

The company appealed the fine through the First-Tier Residential Property Tribunal, which upheld the Council’s decision to impose the penalty, agreeing that the agent had been guilty of ‘systematic failings’ and that the breaches found had been significant enough to warrant the penalty notice. Mecca was ordered to pay £21,499. 

Investigation of the property on Dickenson Road, where Mecca also has its registered office, had been part of a ‘focused day of action’ targeted private rented properties in the road. It led to the Council issuing two emergency prohibitions preventing the property being rented out without improvements, two notices for emergency repair works, two improvement notices and four £300 demand notices  

‘The private rented sector is one of the fastest growing in the city and our residents need decent properties that they can trust, with landlords that take their responsibilities to their tenants seriously’, said Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Manchester City Council’s executive member for Neighbourhoods

‘We know that the vast majority of landlords and managing agents are very good, but for those that are not, I hope that this sort of action serves as a real warning. This management agent showed systematic failings and is now thousands of pounds out of pocket. The level of fine shows that we are looking for you and we will use the full extent of the law to bring you to account’.

Mecca Properties (M/CR) Ltd has one director, 67 year old Stockport businessman Saghir Mohammad Rahi.