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Providence Properties landlord Tariq Zaman prosecuted

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Farin BBC web assistant prod | 11:29 UK time, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A rogue landlord previously featured on Watchdog has been fined for flouting housing laws.

Tariq Mahmood Zaman pleaded guilty at Leeds Magistrates' Court to charges of renting out unlicensed properties.

Watchdog exposed Tariq Zaman in 2008 when the lettings agency he was a director of, Providence Properties, was refusing to refund deposits, leaving students thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Tariq Zaman caught on Watchdog's secret cameras

Zaman had seventeen county court judgements against him but still refused to give students their money back. Using secret cameras, Watchdog revealed his complete disregard for the law. He told a tenant:

"Listen mate, getting a county court judgment doesn't mean nothing, it does not guarantee that you'll get your money back."

£11,000 fine

Now Zaman and his brother Kahlid Mahmood Zaman will have to pay over £11,000 for renting out four properties in Leeds without the required multiple occupation (HMO) licences.

A spokesperson from Leeds City Council told Watchdog:

"Tariq Zaman has been named as a HMO licence holder for 18 properties owned by his family.Due to the prosecutions, the council has taken the view that he is no longer a fit and proper person and we are now taking steps to remove his licence completely."

Leeds University's students' union welcomed the fine but called for "tougher legislation to regulate landlords."

When Watchdog asked Tariq Zaman to comment he told us, "I'm not interested".

See the full Watchdog story.


  • Comment number 1.

    So the witch hunt continues hopefully this will now be the conclusion. Whatever his administration failings may be, the standard of Mr Zaman's properties are above all others in the Headingley/Hyde Park area. His expertise in the refurbishment of properties to an above excellent standard is recognised by all and the safety features of his properties are well above those recommended by the current HMO Licencing requirements. Any tenants who live in his properties can surely verify this factor. He is a very talented builder/designer who has an eye to envisage the needs of his tenants and any amount of propaganda by certain authorative parties cannot deviate away from this fact and the wow factor he inputs into his houses. Many people have received such HMO fines but it is strange Mr Zaman's case courts such attention as the basic fact is all his properties are above the current Council requirements and no licence has ever been refused on this basis which in the end is the purpose of the HMO licencing scheme surely not to persecute individuals for what is, with all respect, a purely administrative error if the full facts of the case were reported.

  • Comment number 2.

    It never ceases to amaze me, the utter contempt for the law, but the leniency of the fine. Is this supposed to be a deterrant? For [comment removed] like Zaman, this is just a numbers game. For every money making [removed] there is a small price to be paid if you get caught. They must be killing themselves laughing at the impotence of the British legal system, [comment removed].

  • Comment number 3.

    This fine is for renting out unlicenced properties but in reality that's not what the whole fuss about Tariq Zaman is about. It's about the fact that me and hundreds of other tenants have had our £300 deposit stolen from us, and there seems to be absolutely nothing anyone can do about it. I'm glad that something is being done to prevent Mr Zaman from carrying on as if nothing has happened, but it doesn't seem to touch on the real issue. It just exposes the fact that tenancy laws in this country allow scheming landlords like Zaman to exploit people and steal their money. And I don't believe for a second that 'Sara Mitchell' is genuine - typical Providence tactics to post positive comments about themselves.

  • Comment number 4.

    Good job! I hope you continue to do more. I would especially like to see you tackle disability discrimination within the social housing sector, it is a crime worse than racial hatred yet no one realises its illegal the police never prosecute they always say its a civil offence.

  • Comment number 5.

    As a student, I hear complaints and experience a multitude of varying levels of poor practice by landlords daily. Student letting is simply put, both distressingly awefull and worryingly profitable. seriously, If a private landlord, Registered social landlord or local authority displayed even close to the level of negligence in any other sector of housing, there feet would not touch the ground. Yet in the city im in a standard 5 bedroom (5 separate tenants) costs roughly 200-250 pounds a month not including bills. That's 100-1250 a month for properties that you would be lucky lo let out for £500 a month judging by the areas/state of repair/cramped conditions. It is frankly a disgrace.

    Having said that, the majority of deposit issues seem to stem from a bad case of consumer ignorance. Student landlords are eager to push though the short lease tenancies student sign, few of whom read it. Seriously guys, spend 30minutes of your time reading that LEGALLY BINDING bit of paper before signing it and handing over your first 2 months rent and your deposit. And remember, it is illegal for either the letting agency or the landlord to hold your deposit. It must be in the hands of a government registered holding organisation.

    A bit of topic, but also remember you are aloud to refuse entry to your room unless the letting agency has given a FULL 24 hours notice, so when they show up with next years prospective tenants, your perfectly able to tell them where t go even If they have informed another tenant (I'm reffering to the room, not your house)


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