Landlord who harassed tenants ordered to pay £29,000
A landlord has been forced to pay £29,000 in costs and fines for harassing two tenants out of their homes.
Delbag Fagura hounded two tenants due to the local authority wanting to inspect one of his properties for building regulations, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard.
He bombarded the two tenants with text messages, and one said she feared he was going to enter her property at any moment.
Fagura, 49, from Dudmaston, Telford, who owns properties across Telford and Wolverhampton. was fined £9,500 for two offences of harassment on Monday.
Catherine Given, prosecuting said Fagura had pleaded guilty on the second day of his trial in September, but had since applied to vacate his guilty pleas.
She said the matter stemmed from Fagura being convicted for breaches of building regulations on the property at Dudmaston, for which he was fined.
He was unhappy with the two tenants for involving the council, who wanted to inspect the building.
Fagura, said he was well educated and had worked for organisations such as the HMRC.
The tenants said they were asked by him to lie to the council, and were bombarded with text message.
One said: "I didn't feel safe in my own home. I didn't have anywhere to go."
One tenant felt so pressured she left the property to live with a friend.
Bally Paul, defending said Fagura had accused a tenant of assault which led to an arrest.
She said her client did not elect for the matters to go to crown court, and that he only makes £17,000 from five properties he rents out.
Judge Anthony Lowe said: "You tried to get two people to leave their homes without going through the proper procedure, and the effect of your behaviour has had a profound impact on them.
"You are dealing with somebody's home. Landlords buy properties to let and for commercial gain, but they have a responsibility; people are not commodities.
"People want a stable and secure place they can call home, even if it is a one-bedroom flat.
"I have no doubt your actions were connected with the local authority inspection.
"Any sentence I give needs to act as a deterrent that a fine will be greater than the commercial gain."
Fagura was fined £9,500 for two counts of harassment, and with that £1,000 in compensation must be paid to both victims.
He was also ordered to pay £17,500 in costs, with the total he must pay amounting to £29,000.
Judge Lowe gave the defendant six months to pay the money owed.
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