The latest addition to our Council Housing Stock Increase Programme is the completion of Buchanan Green Older Persons Independent Living Scheme (OPIL) in Parson Cross for the over 60s.
Landlord prosecuted for a second time for failing tenants
Sheffield City Council has successfully prosecuted rogue landlord Gunes Ata, 48, for a second time, after failing to provide appropriate documentation to a tenant.
The Telford-based landlord failed to provide certified information to a tenant about service charges for a residential building of which he is the landlord, St Mary’s House, London Road, Sheffield.
Landlords have to act with professionalism and good management practice to comply with their obligations and Mr Ata’s management practice was deemed to have fallen short of the standard required in law and those of a reasonable landlord.
In sentencing, Mr Ata was ordered to pay £1,982 made up of £862 costs to the Council, a fine of £800 and a £320 court surcharge.
It is the second time Mr Ata has been prosecuted for failing to provide information to tenants in less than a year. He was prosecuted in 2022 for failing to provide information about the insurance of the building he owns at Printworks, Hodgson Street, Sheffield.
In court, the barrister representing Mr Ata, blamed the failing on a software error. The Council’s prosecution told the court that the Council had written to Mr Ata three times, but he had failed to supply certified information.
The number of Sheffield residents living in flats in buildings let out to on long leases has significantly increased in the last few years. Tenants often have to pay large sums of money to the landlords of these buildings in service charges to cover services such as cleaning and repairs of communal areas and insuring of the building. Tenants have the right to challenge these charges when they suspect they may be unfair and unjustified. They cannot do that unless they have access to relevant information which shows why they are being charged and what they are being charged for.
It is a criminal offence for landlords not to provide information about service charges and insurance when it is properly requested, and the local authority has powers to prosecute these kinds of offences. This prosecution was brought under section 25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
Councillor Douglas Johnson, Chair of Housing Policy Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “This is another example of the City Council using the law to bring about a successful court prosecution and, on this occasion, someone who has been prosecuted before. It is our duty to protect tenants from landlords who do not abide by the law.”
Private Housing Standards Team
The Council’s Private Housing Standards Team regulates the private rented sector in Sheffield and takes formal enforcement action including prosecution. It deals with around 2,000 new enquiries every year relating to the conditions and management of private rented homes.
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