City of Wolverhampton Council hope two private sector portfolio landlords being hit with fines totalling £34,000 will act as a strong deterrent to others who put their tenants’ health and safety at risk.
Husband and wife Joginder and Rashpal Bains of R&J Investments pleaded guilty to a string of failures after all of the tenants on the top floor of one their Merridale Road properties had to be moved out by social services.
They last month accepted three charges each of failing to comply with housing management regulations after council officers inspected properties the couple rented out in Merridale Road.
The couple returned to Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on Tuesday to receive their punishment for failing to comply with safety regulations.
Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets, said: “This is one of the biggest fines we have achieved as a council when bringing to task landlords who are not complying with housing laws. This case should act as a lesson to all landlords in the private sector. Thankfully, the majority of landlords in Wolverhampton abide by the rules and regulations and co-operate with the council. The council takes very seriously its commitment to monitoring the private housing sector and we will continue to do so to ensure tenants’ living standards are of the highest quality.”
The council last month announced it is set to pioneer the way local authorities work with private landlords by introducing a new five-star rating system to improve the quality of housing.
The ‘Rent with Confidence star rating system for private landlords’ will come into effect from April 2016 and aims to encourage greater customer choice and raise living standards.
It will work in a similar way to the rating scheme used by the Food Standards Agency for restaurants and takeaways.
Stars will be awarded to landlords who comply with the law and who rent out property above the minimum statutory standards, with financial incentives for five-star landlords.