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Landlord fined over sewage leak at Keighley property
10:20am Sunday 1st July 2012 in Keighley
Sewage seeped into a bath after a property management company took more than a year to get a blocked toilet fixed, a court heard.
West Yorkshire Lettings, of Russell Street, Keighley, has been slapped with a £10,000 fine after its director Hameed Islam pleaded guilty to failing to comply with improvement notices at two houses in the town.
Islam, 28, of Canal Road, Riddlesden, admitted two charges against himself and three on behalf of the company.
Prosecutor Harjit Ryatt told Bradford Magistrates Court last Thursday that tenants at a house in Wesley Place, Keighley, complained to the council about a blocked toilet there in July 2010.
Officers visited and found evidence of water leakage, a lack of handrails on a set of steps and a large unprotected drop of 1.5m from the patio to the garden, Mr Ryatt said.
A notification of works notice was served on the company on August 12, 2010, but by June 2011, the works had still not been carried out and an improvement notice was issued, which was not complied with.
Officers who visited the property in November 2011 found sewage from the toilet was seeping into the plughole in the bath.
The company also failed to make improvements to a property in Victoria Road, Keighley. Officers found an absence of heating, banisters missing from staircases and mould growth.
An improvement notice served in August 2011 was not complied with.
In both cases tenants were allowed to move in to the properties before the issues were resolved.
Mr Ryatt said: “Clearly to have sewage seeping back into the bath where families are resident is not a satisfactory state of affairs.”
He said disregarding the notices could have exposed people living in the properties to risks to their health and safety.
Chairman of the magistrates bench Michael Kesterton said: “The fact there was effluent in the house, people living there and sewage – you wouldn’t want to be in that room would you, so why put other people in that position?”
The company was fined £5,000 each for two of the charges against it, ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and costs of £3,600, making a total required payment of £13,615.
The court was told all the necessary improvements have now been made to both properties. Islam’s father was the landlord of one of the houses and the defendant had faced problems communicating to him that the work needed to be done.
Two charges of failing to comply with an improvement notice against Abdul Islam, of East Avenue, were not pursued by the court.
In mitigation for Hameed Islam, Sajad Chaudhury said his client had no previous convictions, and had faced a “steep learning curve”.
The company looks after 25 to 30 properties, mostly in Keighley.