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Rogue landlord gets £23,000 bill after string of safety breaches

A rogue landlord has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £3,343 costs as well as a victim surcharge of £120 after admitting a string of offences.

Hafiz Mohammed Gulfraz, of Reading, admitted having control of a house in multiple occupation without a licence, breach of an emergency prohibition order and intentionally disrupting the gas and electricity supply to the property as well as a string of safety breaches.

The offences - all of which took place this year - relate to a property he owns in Reading. 

He was charged with 12 offences, five of which magistrates considered the most serious and on which the significant fine was based. These included failing to ensure that the fire alarm and emergency lighting were maintained in good working order and intentionally depriving tenants of heat and light supply.

The court said that the case was one of the worst that it had ever dealt with.

Reading council began an investigation in January after a tenant then living at the property made contact. Officers found a number of health and safety hazards at the property including excess cold due to the gas central heating system being disconnected on one of the coldest weeks of the year.

The council believed was an imminent risk of harm if the tenants were to remain living in the property and an emergency prohibition order was served. In addition the property had been unlicensed as a house in multiple occupation, even though there were five tenants living there.

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