Fife private landlord receives Scotland’s first ever ‘Disqualification Order’

A private landlord in Fife has been become the first to be disqualified by a Scottish court.

Following his second conviction at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, Mohammed Murtaza, 47, was banned from renting out homes anywhere in Scotland for 12 months.

The landlord was found guilty of having breached both the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004, and the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 on April 27 and was also given a £500 fine.

The man had previously been convicted at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court in November 2014 for failing to comply with his private landlord duties under the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 and for being in breach of Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. He received a total of six criminal convictions in relation to legislative compliance failures and fines totalling £540.

In addition, he was refused entry onto Fife’s landlord register in June 2015, making it a criminal offence for him to rent out a residential property in Fife.

However, he continued to operate as a landlord despite his registration being refused.

John Mills, the council’s head of housing, said: “A significant proportion of private landlords are of good character and comply with the law, however, there are some who act unlawfully.

“We work closely with our partner Services including; Private Housing Standards, Safer Communities, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland to assist and support landlords to comply with the legislative requirements of being ‘fit and proper’ landlords.

“The outcome of this particular case sends a clear message to Private Landlords in Fife that the council will continue to take all appropriate action to protect tenants and improve property standards in the private sector.”

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