A Derby landlord has been handed a six month prison sentence following a successful prosecution by Derby City council.
Mr Rajinder Narroya was prosecuted by the Derby City Council Housing Standards Team at a case heard in South Derbyshire Magistrates Court on Thursday 20th June. The prosecution related to two offences about rented flats on Uttoxeter New Road, Derby.
Following inspections of the flats and common areas, the team issued Improvement Notices in May and June 2018. During the inspections serious, hazardous defects were discovered at the property including:
- inadequate fire safety
- defects to the stairs
- electrical hazards
- insufficient heating
- damp and mould
- poor personal hygiene facilities and
- structural collapse.
All these problems had the potential to have serious impacts on the health of the tenants and also put their lives at risk.
Mr Narroya was found guilty of non-compliance with the two Improvement Notices and was fined £10,000 for failing to comply with the Improvement Notices and ordered to pay the Council's prosecution costs of £2,766 and a victim surcharge of £170.
Mr Narroya had previously been convicted by Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court for six similar offences in July 2018 for which he was fined. Mr Narroya had defaulted on payment of the fine and therefore the Fines Court imposed a suspended sentence.
Mr Narroya informed the Court that he only had a limited income with minimal assets and had planned to emigrate in September 2019 therefore would be leaving the country. The magistrates considered that Mr Narroya would be unlikely to remain within in the country long enough to pay the fine and therefore issued a committal warrant. As Mr Narroya previously had a suspended sentence, a term of immediate imprisonment was imposed as an alternative to the fine.
Councillor Johnathan Smale, Cabinet Member for Communities, Neighbourhoods and Streetpride commented:
"Mr Narroya has shown a complete disregard for his tenant's health and safety. The inadequate fire alarm system was putting lives at risk. Poor living conditions have been associated with poor health of occupiers for many years. The Housing Standards team continue to take a robust approach to landlords who let substandard properties to tenants. This prosecution shows that the appropriate action will be taken against landlords who believe it is acceptable to rent properties in this state."