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Court not told of landlord's earlier offences

An HMO landlord escaped with a lighter sentence because the court was not told that he had been convicted of similar offences just three months earlier.

Imran Hussain Ali, 34, of Oxford, was given credit for previous good character when he was sentenced for nine offences under the Housing Act by city magistrates.

Oxford City Council did not tell the court that Ali had been convicted of similar offences three months before, when he was fined £9,266 in December after pleading guilty to 11 offences under the Housing Act.
In that case, a property housing at least ten tenants was found to have no working fire detector, poor electrics and bathroom, and to have cockroaches. After the case, the council stripped Ali of his licence to manage an HMO.

However, he was back in court late last month, where he pleaded guilty to nine offences at a different HMO, presenting health and safety risks to its occupants.

Ali was fined £2,350, with £200 costs awarded to the council. The court gave credit to Ali for his guilty plea and took into account his previous good character.

A spokesman for the court said that had it been given details about his previous convictions, the maximum fine could have been £5,000.

City council spokesman Louisa Dean said: “Based on previous experience it was decided that the officer who led the case on this occasion would not be required in court.

“Mr Ali is no longer a fit and proper person to hold an HMO licence and if he still owns properties in Oxford and wants to rent them out he will need to find a suitable person to hold the licences on his behalf.”

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