Landlords fined as council continues crackdown

  • Post published:1st November 2016
  • Post Category:Local News

City of Wolverhampton Council hope the conviction of two city landlords will act as a strong deterrent to others who put their tenants’ health and safety at risk.

Balwant Rai and Raj Kumari, both of Bilston, pleaded guilty to failing to put right a string of housing offences at a property in Carter Road, Whitmore Reans.

The pair last week received fines and costs of more than £5,800 each at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court.

The property, then occupied by a family of five, including three children, was inspected by council housing officers in February, and an improvement notice subsequently issued.

Further inspection revealed the landlords had failed to deal with fire hazards, electrical issues, food safety concerns, a lack of drainage, and the large accumulation of waste to the rear of the property.

As a result of the condition of the property and the risk it posed to the tenants the council also served a Prohibition Order, which came into effect on July 11, 2016, to prohibit its occupation.

Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets, said: “We are determined to bring to task landlords who are not complying with housing laws.

“Our residents’ health and wellbeing is of paramount importance to us and 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 this month launched a new five-star rating system to improve the quality of housing in the private sector.

The ‘Rent with Confidence star rating system for private landlords’ aims to encourage greater customer choice and raise living standards.

It works 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.

Three to five-star landlords will be given access to the new property website portal,, which is run by the council, and will only advertise council-approved properties.

The database of properties available through the scheme will be gradually built up over time as the Rent with Confidence web portal becomes THE search engine for private rented properties in the city. In the meantime tenants will be able to register their interest in finding accommodation in the city on the website.

In order to deal with the initial large influx of requests, landlords will be invited to self-assess their properties on the portal to gain a preliminary rating until the council is able to inspect and confirm these ratings. It is anticipated that around 800 properties will be put through the programme in its first year of operation.

All star ratings will be published on the website for tenants and landlords to view, along with a new feature giving up to date information on which legal notices have been served on landlords.

Overall, the scheme will see improved health and wellbeing of residents, along with better property and housing management standards, and longer term stability in neighbourhoods.  The scheme will improve the private rented offer and support the economic regeneration of the city.

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