Landlords hit with £16,000 bill after renting out bed-bug ridden property in Aylesbury

A couple from Aylesbury have been hit with a bill for more than £16,000 after renting out two unsafe properties in Aylesbury.

Mr and Mrs Naeem have been ordered to pay £16,789 following an investigation by environmental health officers into two properties being rented out in the town - 15 and 17 Chalgrove Walk.

Photo of a storage area at 15 Chalgrove Walk being rented out as a bedroom

Photo of a storage area at 15 Chalgrove Walk being rented out as a bedroom

The investigation was triggered following a complaint about bedbugs from a resident at 15 Chalgrove Walk, a licensed house in multiple occupation.

Health officers then found that the landlady at this address Mrs Naeem was continuing to rent out rooms inside the property that were not safe for occupation despite previous warnings from environmental health.

A warrant was obtained and officers inspected both properties during which they found the following offences:

At 15 Chalgrove Walk:

Photo of a room at 15 Chalgrove Walk that was prohibited from being used as a bedroom because of no safe fire escape

Photo of a room at 15 Chalgrove Walk that was prohibited from being used as a bedroom because of no safe fire escape

> A storage area had been rented out as a bedroom

> A room that had been explicitly prohibited from use as a bedroom on the HMO licence because of no safe fire escape had been rented out

> There was an active bed bug infestation

> A number of fire safety related issues were identified

> The property had been poorly maintained

At 17 Chalgrove Walk:

> The property was operating as a house of multiple occupancy without a licence

> The fire escape route from the first floor was unsafe

> The property had been poorly maintained

The council told us that in the licensed house of multiple occupancy at 15 Chalgrove Walk, more than eight people were living in the property (it was only licensed for seven).

Meanwhile, in the non-licensed HMO at 17 Chalgrove Walk, there were eight people in total living at the property, four were the landlord and their family, two were single men, and two were a couple making a total of four households living in one property.

In total 13 offences were laid against Mrs Naeem as the licence holder of number 15 and owner of both properties, and four offences were laid against Mr Naeem as the co-owner of 17 Chalgrove Walk.

At a hearing at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court the couple pleaded guilty to all offences and were hit with a bill of £16,789.

Councillor Mark Winn, district council cabinet member for communities said: “This exhaustive work by council officers shows that AVDC will not tolerate people in housing need being exploited in this way.

"I hope that this result will deter other landlords from operating HMOs without licences, and that those with licenses ensure they keep their properties in good order.

"We want all residents renting properties in Aylesbury Vale to have access to safe accommodation.

“If any residents are renting a property in Aylesbury Vale and are concerned about its condition – or if you are concerned about a property that is being let – you can contact AVDC on 01296 585605, complete an online complaints form via www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/complaints or raise the issue with your AVDC councillor - and the matter will be investigated.”