Skip to the content

Landlord prosecuted with costs for failing tenant

Mr Ata in suit and tie doing a thumbs up sign and slightly smiling
Mr Gunes Ata

Sheffield City Council has successfully prosecuted Uttoxeter-based landlord Gunes Ata, aged 47, for failing to provide information about the insurance of the building he owns at Printworks, Hodgson Street, Sheffield.

In court, the council’s prosecution case stated that landlords must act with professionalism and good management practice to comply with their obligations and said that Mr Ata’s business practice fell short of the standard required in law.

In sentencing, the Magistrates said that Mr Ata had not shown due diligence and he was ordered to pay £2,225 made up of £1,400 costs to the council, a fine of £750 and a £75 victim surcharge.

Any tenant living in a flat let out on a long lease must pay service charges to their landlord to cover services such as cleaning, repairs of communal areas and building insurance. They have the right to challenge these charges and cannot do that unless they have access to information which shows why they are being charged and for what they are being charged.

In the case of insurance, tenants have the right to know what the insurance covers so that they can check that they are properly protected and getting value for money.

The law

The law makes it a criminal offence for landlords not to provide information about service charges and insurance when it is properly requested, and the local authority is the prosecuting authority for these kinds of offences. This prosecution was brought under s.30A and para. 6 of the Schedule to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

Councillor Douglas Johnson, Chair of Housing Policy Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “We make it our business to protect tenants from landlords who do not come up to the mark and this another example of us using the law to bring about a successful court prosecution.

“We want Sheffield to be a place where all residents and investors can be sure they will be treated fairly and we will take action where we reasonably can, when it is clear that this law is being ignored or disregarded.”

Private Housing Standards Team

The Council’s Private Housing Standards team regulates the private rented sector in Sheffield, provides advice and education programmes for landlords to improve their practices and deals with around 2,000 new enquiries every year relating to the conditions and management of private rented homes.

Tenants or landlords who want advice on any aspect of private renting can contact www.sheffield.gov.uk/phs, 0114 273 4680 or email: phs@sheffield.gov.uk for help and advice.