10 June 2016
Sheffield City Council has succeeded in prosecuting another private landlord for failing to provide safe accommodation to people in Sheffield.
The authority took action on Mohammed Fathy Mohamed Khalifa (of Briar Lea Close in Sinfin, Derby) who was convicted at Sheffield’s Magistrates’ Court on 2 June for failing to act on notices issued after his property fell into serious disrepair. He was ordered to pay almost £5,000 in fines and court costs on top of almost £6,000 to cover the cost of repair work carried out by the authority.
The court heard that Khalifa rents out a property in Grimesthorpe to a family with two children. The Private Housing Standards team were called in to investigate after the children became unwell and concerns were raised about the condition of the house. Enforcement Officers found serious defects in the gas and electricity which could have resulted in serious harm to the family, as well as the boiler not working which left them with no heating or hot water for weeks.
The prosecutor explained that Khalifa was asked to carry out improvement work on a number of occasions. But despite numerous opportunities to co-operate, he chose not to, and refused to carry out essential work to keep the family safe. The council therefore carried out work and the court agreed he should repay the cost of this on top of the fines for refusing to accept his landlord responsibilities.
Khalifa did not attend the court hearing.
Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for housing at Sheffield City Council, said: “Our priority was the safety of this family and I’m thankful that the children are now fully recovered.
“The landlord was clearly failing in his duties and I’m glad he is paying the price for being irresponsible.
“We are prosecuting more people than ever and we will continue until landlords get the message that we will not accept unlawful behaviour in Sheffield. I hope the large number of good landlords in our city see that we are tackling the minority that tarnish the whole sector.”
Khalifa was convicted for failure to comply with an Improvement Notice under the Housing Act 2004 and a Notice under the Building Act 1984.
About the Private Housing Standards teams
The Private Housing Standards team is in Sheffield City Council’s Housing service. It is responsible for the citywide regulation of private rented housing.
The department carries out licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation, Selective licensing in Page Hall, preventing and taking action on illegal eviction and harassment and general disrepair issues.
Private Renting has a very important part to play in providing safe and suitable homes, and it is important for the council to make sure that high standards of accommodation and responsible management prevail in the sector. Taking this kind of action is part of the council’s commitment to making sure the Private Rented Sector is safe, well managed and successful and a valued housing option for the people of Sheffield.
For more information visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/privatehousing