Hatfield landlord hit with banning order following safety failings

Faraz Bucha court fine

The garden at 18 The Runway, which was neglected by Mr Bucha and Captain Solutions. - Credit: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

A Hatfield-based landlord has been hit with a banning order after being fined for a number of safety failings at a property.

Faraz Bucha and his company Captain Solutions have been banned from managing, letting or having anything to do with rental properties in England for the next two years.

The ban is the first of its kind to be imposed by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council following a successful application from the Private Sector Housing team.

No mitigation against the banning order was offered, and the defendant did not attend the tribunal hearing.

This comes after Bucha was hit with a council-record £90,000 fine after being found guilty of 27 charges at St Albans Magistrates’ Court in April – including eight fire safety offences at 18 The Runway, including inadequate fire alarms, lighting, fire doors and blocking key escape routes.

Faraz Bucha court fine

The bathroom was one of a number of areas in the property neglected by Mr Bucha and his management company. - Credit: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

The property was also found to be in poor condition and the necessary improvements had not been carried out as instructed by council officers.

The court had raised serious concerns that fire regulations were ‘wilfully and negligently’ ignored by Bucha and Captain Solutions over a considerable period, despite being informed of their responsibility.

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The defendant also failed to attend court and the case was heard in his absence.

Cllr Fiona Thomson, executive member for housing, said: “This is a positive outcome, and it sends a clear message.

Faraz Bucha court fine

Mr Bucha and Captain Solutions were fined for inadequate lighting. - Credit: Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

“We have a good relationship with many landlords in the borough, and as such enforcement is usually a last resort – we would much rather take an educational approach. However, Mr Bucha and his company can no longer continue this negligence and risk lives.

“I would strongly urge to any prospective tenants or landlords to get registered with our accredited scheme, PAL, which offers advice and protection for both parties.”

For more information about the PAL, the Partnership Accreditation for Landlords scheme, please go to www.pal-online.org.uk/.

Private tenants can find advice at www.welhat.gov.uk/private-renting.