Tenant of fined landlord describes filthy conditions and bars on windows

A former tenant of a landlord fined for the dangerous conditions in his properties, has detailed the appalling state of her old home.

Nilendu Das was convicted at Sheffield’s Magistrates’ Court and ordered to pay £7,000 for various housing offences as well as health and safety offences at his restaurant, the Varanasi Inn on Sandygate Road, after he contravened an improvement notice concerning the safety of gas appliances.

Jaeger Renshaw, 29, who was a tenant of Das about 11 years ago, said: “It was very neglected and unfinished. There were metal bars covering the living room window and the kitchen units were mismatched and dirty.”

“It was very dirty and no amount of cleaning ever made a difference due to the condition of furnishings.”

He has previous convictions of tenant harassment, poor management of Houses in Multiple Occupation, HMOs, and failure to comply with improvement notices, which have resulted in prison sentences.

Between December 2018 and March 2020, Private Housing Standards officers investigated complaints about some of his properties and uncovered serious hazards concerning inadequate fire detection and damp, unsafe electrics.

One property was found in such an appalling state that a prohibition order was served and it was declared unfit to live in, but officers returning a month later found that tenants had been allowed to continue living there without the necessary repairs being completed.

Cllr Paul Wood, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: “We have given him very reasonable timescales to complete work but these have been ignored, leaving us no other choice than to pursue action through the courts.”

“We absolutely take a zero tolerance approach to anything that risks a life and landlords who have a complete disregard to the safety of their tenants.”

The Private Housing Standards team investigate over 400 disrepair complaints a year and regulate HMO standards to more than 2000 properties in Sheffield, and landlords found guilty of offences can be fined up to £30,000.



Written by Joel Summers

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