London landlord Mehmet Parlak has racked up scores of housing offences and been issued with thousands of pounds of fines for repeatedly ignoring health and safety and licensing regulations.
The story of Mehmet Parlak tells a sorry tale of crumbling bedsits and crammed housing. Single handedly giving landlords a dastardly reputation, Parlak is a good example of a big city landlord gone bad.
In 2008, Parlak was given a four month prison sentence for breaching fire safety regulation after a fatal fire in one of his properties. Then in August 2012 an environmental health officer found over 70 problems with one of Parlak’s rented houses, including issues with security, damp and filth, broken windows, and overcrowding.
Parlak had also failed to apply for licences for properties that were HMOs (houses in multiple occupation). HMO licences are mandatory for landlords who rent houses with shared facilities to at least five people who are not part of the same household. This is supposed to protect tenants by making sure that the properties meet standards of space and safety.
But Parlak didn’t learn from his mistakes, and after paying a hefty fine he was back in court less than two months later to face more charges. This time, problems included faulty fire alarms, missing gas safety certificates, and further failures to file HMO licence applications.
Parlak was fined over £40,000, and said that he may need to start selling houses to pay the fines and legal fees.
Families, including young children, were living in dangerous and squalid conditions in properties owned by Parlak, who is the director of London-based Watchstar Ltd and Watchacre Properties Ltd. And yet more trouble is brewing for the rogue landlord, as his tenants take action to reclaim thousands of pounds in rent.
Although they often get a bad reputation, most of the UK’s landlords work hard to keep property in good condition for their tenants, and there are lots of regulations in place to help keep tenants safe.