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Newport landlord fined £40,000 for unlicensed HMOs

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A landlord and manager of a Newport house in multiple occupation (HMO) were fined a total of £40,000 by city magistrates.

It follows another successful prosecution by Newport City Council earlier this year when a property management company and its director were fined more than £14,000.

In a case heard at the beginning of March, Jamshed Rana, aged 75, owner and landlord of two properties in Augustus Place was found guilty in his absence of operating two unlicensed HMOs and a number of breaches of safety regulations.

He was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £460 plus a victim surcharge of £170.

Omar Rana, aged 34, of Kimberley Close, Luton, the manager of the two properties, was also found guilty in his absence. He was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £460 plus a victim surcharge of £170.

The charges included serious breaches of fire safety regulations, rooms too small for habitation and exposed wiring to a hot water heater.

In a separate hearing at the end of January ADO Options and director Aniela Orlicka pleaded guilty to 27 offences in the city’s magistrates’ court

As well as failing to have licences for properties in York Place, Malpas Road, Castle Street and Clyffard Crescent, there were also serious breaches of fire safety regulations in some of them

Orlicka, aged 38, of Creswicke Road, Bristol, and the limited company was fined a total of £14,550, ordered to pay costs of £4,505 and a victim surcharge of £84.

Michael Davis, aged 50, of Brook Bank Close, Cheltenham owned the properties in York Place, Malpas Road and Castle Street. He was fined a total of £6,210, ordered to pay costs of £2,799 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Councillor Ray Truman, Newport City Council’s cabinet member for licensing and regulation, said: “Operating properties without the necessary fire precautions leaves tenants at serious risk of death. Regulations in relation to HMOs are there to protect and safeguard tenants so we take seriously any breaches of the rules. Landlords and property owners have to meet their obligations under the law or we will not hesitate to take robust action, as shown in this case.”