04 Jun 2019

Rogue landlord fined £12,400 for operating unsafe HMO

Islington Council has successfully prosecuted a rogue landlord for failing to comply with fire safety regulations and carry out repairs to his property.

Following a complaint from a tenant living at Flat C, 98 Petherton Road, an Environmental Health Officer inspected the property and discovered four unrelated occupants sharing kitchen and bathroom facilities – making the property a HMO, or house in multiple occupation.

The property did not have a mains wired smoke alarm system, or a fire door to the kitchen as required by HMO licensing. There was also a bedroom window in a poor state of repair. The officer issues an Improvement Notice under section 12 of The Housing Act 2004 on the owner, Mr David Simons, requiring him to remedy these defects and provide an Electrical Installation Condition Report.

The council officer returned to the property on two further occasions. Despite initial assurances from Mr Simons that he intended to carry out the necessary works, no work was carried out.

The initial court hearing at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court was on 11 April where Mr Simons was found guilty of failing to comply with an Improvement Notice.

The hearing was adjourned for sentencing on 16 May 2019 where Mr Simons was fined £12,400. Costs of £600 were awarded with a victim’s surcharge of £175.

In sentencing, magistrates stated that they take very seriously any breaches relating to fire risk in multiple occupancy housing.

Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member for Housing and Development, said:

“Everyone has the right to a safe, genuinely affordable home and we will not tolerate dodgy operators taking advantage of people’s desperate need for a home. Where we find unacceptable conditions we will act to protect tenants.”

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