Private landlord fined £10,000 over poor state of his Bradford houses (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Private landlord fined £10,000 over poor state of his Bradford houses
A landlord who “wilfully ignored” the needs of tenants has been fined more than £10,000 after leaving two young families in rotting and mould-infested properties.
Two tenants of a private landlord complained to Bradford Council’s Environmental Health team about the state of their homes.
Landlord Paul Atha, of Leeds-based Atha Properties Ltd, has now been prosecuted for failing to bring the properties up to an acceptable standard.
One of his tenants, Nora Ward, lived in a three-bedroom house in Bardon Avenue, Buttershaw, Bradford, with her son Kieran Reed, 18.
Inspectors found a rotting kitchen worktop which had partially collapsed, mouldy rooms and a gas fire which was not fixed to the wall, among other problems.
Another tenant, Jane Fleming, lived in a four-bedroom house in Lastingham Green, Buttershaw, with daughters Jade, 19, and Annalisa six, son Mason Bailey, 14, and baby granddaughter Ameya Ahmed.
Inspectors found a host of problems there too, including cracked windows, a leak in the roof, mouldy rooms and outdated electrics.
At Bradford Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Atha pleaded guilty to seven counts of failing to comply with improvement notices.
Chairman of the magistrates Beryl Eakin said: “We have no evidence of any safety certificates for either property, no evidence of work being carried out prior to the tenants leaving.” She said they were fining him £3,500 for each property, as well as a £250 victim surcharge and a £2,925 contribution towards court costs, giving a total of £10,175.
The court heard that Atha would be appealing the sentence, and the matter would be heard at the Crown Court at a later date.
Outside court, Miss Fleming said baby Ameya had suffered from bronchitis, which she put down in part to the mould in the house.
Miss Ward said: “This will deter other people going to him, and other landlords doing what he has done to us. Some people might not want to speak up, but we’ve spoken up.”
Coun Val Slater, Bradford Council’s executive member for housing, said: “This case shows that Bradford Council will do all it can to ensure people renting in the private sector can expect to have their homes maintained to an acceptable standard.”