WHEN looking for somewhere to live, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. 

Maybe it’s a nice garden, or a big bathroom, or a convenient location?

The basic requirement for private renters is the desire for a decent landlord. 

But sometimes, landlords end up in court for a range of reasons. 

Over the past year, a handful of Slough landlords did just that. 

Here are their names and their offences.

Fahed Choudry

Fahed Choudry, of Homefield, Wembley, was handed a huge court bill after an unannounced visit to his property by Slough Borough Council officers in May 2021. 

Here, officers found 11 health and safety breaches, including: 

  • A bike was blocking the entrance to the house meaning fire escapes were not free from obstruction

Slough Observer:

  • The fire door did not open and close and appeared to be defective
  • The water supply and drainage systems were not in good working order
  • Not all of the house was in a state of clean, decorative repair
  • The ceiling lightbulb on both floors of the property was missing
  • The garden was unkempt and overgrown with items littered all over it
  • There was a hole in the wall behind a door, and the wall was dented, raising concerns about the building’s structural integrity

Slough Observer:

  • In a bedroom on the first floor, there was an exposed live wire on the ceiling with no bulb
  • An outside pane to a double-glazed window was smashed

Upon inspection, it was found 11 people were living at the address despite Chowdry losing his licence to be a HMO landlord in 2019. 

He lost his licence because of concerns about Mr Choudhry’s fitness to be a landlord having been found in breach of regulations previously.

Appearing in court on January 14, Choudry was convicted of 11 offences -- 10 offences of breaches of the management regulations and one offence of not licensing the HMO.
Slough Observer:

He was fined £5,000 for each offence and ordered to pay court costs of £2,387.92, as well as a victim supplement of £190. 

This brought his total bill to £57,577.92.

Paul and Maria Vig

A Slough couple who received £640 a month from renting out a ‘bed in a shed’ have been told to cough up more than £15,000 in fines. 

Paul and Maria Vig, of Scotlands Drive, Farnham Common, and Fawsley Close, Slough, respectively, illegally let out the property for more than three years.

The structure was located in the garden of a house in Reddington Drive, Langley, and contained a shower room, a washing machine and white goods. 

Slough Observer:

Slough Borough Council, which issued an enforcement notice against the structure in 2015, said the property resembled a ‘bed in a shed’ as it contained ‘everything needed to be an independent self-contained unit’. 

At Reading Crown Court earlier this month, Paul Vig, 58, was sentenced for ignoring the enforcement notice after it was discovered he was renting out the property for £160 per week.

In her judgement, Judge Nott said: “I am satisfied that Mr Vig knew full well that the continued commercial use of the outbuilding was in breach of the enforcement notice.

“Photographs dated 24 July 2019 show a kitchenette – washing machine, microwave, fridge freezer, washing facilities, cupboards with food and glassware. 

“With or without the kitchen equipment, this is a self-contained unit of accommodation and the tenancy agreements show that this is how it was let.

“As a commercial landlord, he has a clear duty to understand and comply with all rules, regulations and notices pertaining to the properties he rents out.”

Paul Vig was fined £5,000 and was told to pay this in six months or he will spend three months in prison. 

He was also ordered to pay costs of £8,161.67. 

His wife Maria Vig, 40, was given a six-month conditional discharge but was ordered to pay £4,000 in costs. 

They were sentenced at Reading Crown Court on October 6, 2021.

Saghir Malik

A Slough homeowner has been told to fork out more than £30,000 for renting out an extension to his house that he built illegally. 

Saghir Malik, of Mortimer Road, will have 12 months to pay the confiscation costs or he will face 12 months in prison. 

Malik landed himself such enormous fees after building a side and rear extension to his property without planning permission.

Slough Observer:

He then refused to knock it down when Slough Borough Council caught onto it in October 2018. 

Malik appealed an enforcement notice served by the council but this plea was thrown out. 

Following a site inspection from council officers, it was noted that the enforcement notice had not been complied with and therefore Malik, 53, had committed a criminal offence. 

Throughout this time, Malik collected rent from a tenant he leased the tiny extension out to. 

Malik admitted the offence at Reading Magistrates’ Court on March 12, 2021, and was due to be sentenced at Reading Crown Court on January 13. 

However, he was allowed a temporary reprieve to collect documents showing how much he earned from leasing out the extension and a new sentencing date was set for March 4. 

Here, His Honour Judge Burgess assessed the provided documentation and settled on a £31,914.35 confiscation order for Malik. 

Alongside this huge penalty, the Slough man was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £4,000. 

And something a bit different…

Bobby Philipoff

A London man has been told to cough up more than £5,000 after falsely claiming he was a Slough landlord. 

Bobby Philipoff, of Friary Road, Acton, defrauded four people by taking money from them for the letting of a property on Cranbourne Close, Slough. 

He told them he was the landlord of the property when in fact, he was not. 

The 37-year-old admitted to four counts of fraud after scamming two people out of £1,000, one out of £1,100 and another out of £2,200 in April and May 2012. 

Appearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court on April 19, 2022, Philipoff was told to pay back £5,300 in compensation. 

However, the London man was spared jail, despite a judge noting this was a ‘sophisticated fraud with a number of victims’, due to the age of the crimes. 

Philipoff was also handed a 20-week prison sentence suspended for 24 months.