AVDC Environmental Heath Officers in successful landlord prosecution

9 Jul 2019
Storeroom rented as a bedroom

Following an investigation into a complaint about conditions at a property in Chalgrove Walk in Aylesbury, Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) Environmental Health Officers have brought a successful prosecution against property owners Mrs Naeem and Mr Naeem, who between them now face having to pay costs and fines totalling £16,789.

Following an investigation into a complaint about bedbugs from a resident at 15 Chalgrove Walk, a licensed HMO (House in Multiple Occupation),  it was discovered that the landlady, Mrs Naeem was continuing to rent out rooms inside the property that were not safe for occupation despite previous warnings from Environmental Health.

A warrant to inspect both 15 and 17 Chalgrove Walk, (another property known to be connected to Mrs Naeem), was obtained from Milton Keynes Magistrates Court and a team of officers conducted a thorough inspection of both properties simultaneously.

During this inspection evidence of a number of offences was discovered.

At 15 Chalgrove Walk this included:

  • A storage area had been rented out as a bedroom
  • A room that had been explicitly prohibited from use as a bedroom on the HMO licence because of no safe fire escape had been rented out
  • There was an active bed bug infestation
  • A number of fire safety related issues were identified
  • The property had been poorly maintained

 And, at 17 Chalgrove Walk evidence of offences included:

  • The property operating as a HMO without a licence
  • The fire escape route from the 1st floor was unsafe
  • The property had been poorly maintained

In total 13 offences were laid against Mrs Naeem as the licence holder of number 15 and owner of both properties, and 4 offences were laid against Mr Naeem as the co-owner of 17 Chalgrove Walk.

The case was heard at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court on Friday 28 June 2019. Both Mr and Mrs Naeem pleaded guilty to all the offences. Aylesbury Vale District Council was awarded full costs which in addition to the fines received means that Mr and Mrs Naeem have been ordered to pay £16,789.

Councillor Mark Winn, AVDC Cabinet Member responsible for Communities, said:

“This exhaustive  work by council officers shows that AVDC will not tolerate people in housing need being exploited in this way. I hope that this result will deter other landlords from operating HMOs without licences, and that those with licenses ensure they keep their properties in good order. We want all residents renting properties in Aylesbury Vale to have access to safe accommodation.

“If any residents are renting a property in Aylesbury Vale and are concerned about its condition – or if you are concerned about a property that is being let – you can contact AVDC on 01296 585605, complete the online complaints form that can be found at: https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/your-council/contact-and-complaints/ or raise the issue with your AVDC councillor - and the matter will be investigated.”

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