A LANDLORD has finally been fined nearly £3,000 for failing to install proper safety measures having been chased by the council for almost a year.

Mohammed Rafiq was fined £2,783 by magistrates for operating an unlicensed house of multiple occupation (HMO) in Canterbury Road in Worcester and for flouting his responsibility to install proper fire safety equipment.

Worcester City Council was first told that Rafiq had been operating without a licence in November 2018 which was the start of a lengthy pursuit which ended in Worcester Magistrates Court.

The city council was forced to take Rafiq to court having made several unsuccessful attempts to contact him. Rafiq also failed to attend court last Friday (October 4) and was charged in his absence.

Rafiq was charged with operating the HMO without a licence and for failing to take safety measures including failing to supply firefighting equipment and having insufficient fire alarms, failing to install emergency lighting or self-closing fire doors and failing to display his name, address and contact details inside the HMO.

Councillor James Stanley, chairman of the city council's communities committee, said the council would always act when landlords in the city do not act responsibly.

He said: “The majority of landlords in Worcester abide by the law but as this case demonstrates, the city council won’t hesitate to act in cases where landlords exploit tenants, provide dangerous or substandard accommodation or flout their legal obligations.

“I would urge any Worcester residents who are facing difficulties with their tenancy or have concerns about an HMO to contact the city council’s housing team for advice and support."

Tenants who had lived in the unlicensed HMO are also able to reclaim a year's rent.

The city council said further information and advice is available at worcester.gov.uk.

The council's housing team can be contacted by calling 01905 722588 or by emailing privatehousing@worcester.gov.uk.