Cardiff Council has successfully prosecuted a landlord following breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations (Wales) 2006.
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The landlord, Mr. Yazdan Kayhanian of Lake Road West, Cyncoed, Cardiff, was fined £2000; ordered to pay costs of £950 and a victim surcharge of £15
Mr Kayhanian’s property at 116 Richmond Road, Plasnewydd, Cardiff was initially identified to be a shared house in multiple occupation in October 2009. An inspection later revealed failures to comply with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006. However, the landlord advised Cardiff Council officers that the property was shortly to be converted into self contained flats.
In October 2010, a re-visit identified that the property had not been converted into flats and remained a shared house. Mr. Kayhanian advised the case officer that the conversion would take place during the summer of 2011.
In February 2012, a further visit confirmed that the property was still a shared house in multiple occupation and a number of serious failures to comply with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 were noted.
At Cardiff Magistrates Court, District Judge Charles believed that the defendant had deliberately misled the Council into not taking action when he said that he was going to convert the property into flats; that he had made a misleading statement that Keylet were responsible for the management of the property and that he had deliberately attempted to mislead the Council again by getting the tenants to sign a letter accepting some of the blame. The District Judge told the defendant that he was the ‘author of your own misfortunes’; that he was unscrupulous and that he took advantage of the fact that the tenants were students.
Mr. Kayhanian was found guilty of all of the charges against him. These were:
- Offence contrary to Regulation 7 of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 – failure to ensure that all common parts of the house are maintained in good and clean decorative repair and in a safe and working condition and kept reasonably clear from obstruction.
- Offence contrary to Regulation 8 of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 – failure to ensure that in relation to each part of the house that is used as living accommodation that the internal structure is maintained in good repair and any fixtures and fittings are maintained in good repair and in clean working order
- Offence contrary to Regulation 5 of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 – failure to ensure that the drainage system serving the house is maintained in good, clean and working condition in that the gully to the annex side elevation was blocked and overflowing
- Offence contrary to Regulation 4(2) of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 – failure to ensure that any fire fighting equipment and alarms are maintained in good working order
- Offence contrary to Regulation 4(1) of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 – failure to ensure that all means of escape from fire are maintained in good order and repair
Councillor Lynda Thorne, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Housing and Social Justice, said:
“We know that there are lots of good landlords in Cardiff who manage their properties well and comply with legal requirements. We want to encourage those landlords and assure them and tenants living in HMOs that we will take appropriate legal action, including prosecution, for those who fail to comply with the law.”
“Our approach is to work with private landlords in order to help them meet the standards that are expected of them. We can offer a range of support including advice, an accreditation scheme, help with finding suitable tenants, help with deposits and rent advances, and property checks. But we are also clear that where landlords do not meet acceptable standards, then we will act.”