£29,000 fine for company behind rat-infested "filthy, verminous" flat

A firm has been fined £29,000 after a rental property was found to be – in the words of Nottingham city council – in a filthy and verminous condition with a rat infestation.

Nottingham HMO Ltd, directed by Nazaquat Azam and previously by Yusif McCallum, was found guilty of breaching HMO management regulations and failing to respond to a demand for information made by the local council. 

Nottingham Magistrates’ Court fined the business £19,000 for failing to comply with a number of HMO regulations, and £10,000 for failure to respond to a notice requesting information under Section 16 of the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976. The court also awarded costs of £1450.

A council team originally visited in January 2016 to assess the property for suitability for a HMO licence. The authority says that during the inspection the property was found to be in a state of disrepair with serious lapses in the management of the dwelling. 

This included the property having no working fire detection system and the integrity of the fire doors being compromised due to damage. “The house was in a filthy and verminous condition with an infestation of rats in the kitchen” says a council statement. 

The licence has since been refused.

A council spokeswoman says the firm “completely ignored the advice given to them for their own financial gain, placing their tenants at the risk of harm” and created a “profit before safety” culture.