Slumlord putting lives at risk to fund footballer lifestyle

Slumlord putting lives at risk to fund footballer lifestyle


A rogue landlord rented out dangerous slum-like accommodation whilst living among footballers in a mansion worth £1.3 million.

Whilst living a life of luxury in a mansion in Hale Barns, Cheshire, 54-year-old Israr Fazal breached health and safety regulations and rented out dangerous accommodation to vulnerable families.

Fazal is facing jail after the devastatingly poor conditions were discovered by council and fire investigators at five flats in Longsight, Greater Manchester.

Warren Spencer, prosecuting for the fire service, called the conditions catastrophic.

Mr Spencer added: “Clearly, in these premises there would have been an increased risk of fire because of the state of the flats.

“The concern of the fire service is that they had no co-operation whatever. The premises contained, at any one time, around twelve people. Some were very young children.”

Fazal ran the slum scheme with his 30-year-old son Shabaz, who also occupied an expensive home in Cheshire.

Investigators discovered the slums after a complaint was made about the poor living conditions. The properties did not meet health and safety standards, included among the failings were damaged electric and gas metres, exposed electrical wires, a collapsed ceiling and hazardous electrics.

Upon the discovery of the flats the council called in the fire service which discovered that the landlords had overlooked fire safety precautions, with no evidence of risk assessments being carried out and no fire alarms fitted.

Israr had initiated the sham property rental business with his son, but passed on the responsibility to his son when he became ill, according to the Manchester Evening News. As the landlords both men were responsible for ensuring the flats met living standards and were safe. This clearly was overlooked.

Laura Raine, prosecuting for Manchester council, said: “This landlord has put personal financial gain before the safety of these tenants. That is of great concern. Our officers have spent numerous hours on this case and have made numerous inspections. There has been great difficulty in locating exactly who was responsible.”

Israr admitted six offences brought by the fire service, and Shabaz pleaded guilty to four charges brought by Manchester council concerning the property conditions and nine charges brought by the fire service.

Deputy district judge David Robinson told them: “Your behaviour towards your tenants was shameful. You have shown contempt to their safety and well-being. You clearly have contempt for the law. You placed a large number of people at risk, including children.”

Manchester councillor Paul Andrews said: “It is absolutely shocking that a landlord in 21st century Manchester is content to let a family live in this kind of squalor, when he is living content in Hale Barns surrounded by rich footballers.

“Slum landlords should be a thing of the past and I hope this serves as a warning to others who think they can rent out revolting properties and get away with it.”

Both men will be sentenced at Manchester crown court on June 29.

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