A landlord has been fined in excess of £12,000 for allowing tenants to live in unsafe conditions.
Ajay Mohan Kapur was prosecuted at Romford Magistrates Court for failing to adequately manage the house of multiple occupancy he owned in Ardwell Avenue in Newbury Park, according to the Ilford Recorder.
When an investigation was undertaken, residents were found to be sleeping in rooms where ventilation for gas appliances was lacking and fire escapes were blocked.
In addition, the building was afflicted with damp, while broken glass and electrical defects were present.
The three-bedroom property had been converted to provide five rooms, which were let to private tenants, according to Redbridge Council.
Mr Kapur did not attend the hearing on February 28th and nine management offences under the Housing Act 2004 were proved.
Cabinet member for housing Councillor Michelle Dunn said: “We will not tolerate rogue landlords who let out unsafe accommodation and place their tenants’ lives at risk.
“Our Housing Standards Team will continue to take tough enforcement action where we come across such unacceptable behaviour.”
Mr Kapur was fined £9,000, ordered to pay £3,081 in costs and a victim surcharge of £120.
In April 2013, Redbridge Council received £108,000 to help combat the problem of such property owners – who have been accused of bringing the community of landlords into disrepute – letting out ‘beds in sheds’ to vulnerable residents.
Ms Dunn welcomed the additional money, which would be put towards funding extra enforcement officers for the borough.
She spoke of her determination to crack down on “unscrupulous landlords” who were set on making easy money by renting out properties that were illegal and unsafe places.
“Rogue landlords who flout the law and place tenants’ lives at risk will not be tolerated and we will continue to take tough action.”
‘Beds in sheds’ could be a garage, shed or temporary garden structure used to house residents.
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.