19 August 2016
A Wembley landlord who showed ‘blatant disregard of basic fire safety measures’ has been handed fines totaling £40,000.
At court, it was revealed that the property belonging to Mr Tilak Raj Sarna had missing smoke alarms, overloaded electrical sockets and inadequate fire doors, along with a number of other safety failings.
Brent Council granted Sarna a licence to house seven people at his HMO, but when Brent housing enforcement officers made an unannounced visit to the house in January 2016 they found 24 tenants living there.
Cllr Harbi Farah, Brent Council's Lead Member for Housing, said: "This case underlines the necessity of our commitment to ensuring private tenants in our borough have safe, high quality accommodation.
“In situations like this, unscrupulous landlords are not only taking financial advantage of vulnerable tenants; they're also placing tenants' lives in danger.
"We are improving standards in Brent's private rented properties by working with landlords through our property licensing regime, which helps ensure that tenants do not have to live in filthy, dangerous accommodation."
Cllr Margaret McLennan, Brent Council's Deputy Leader, accompanied officers on the raid in January.
She said: "Where we find serious breaches of the law like this, we will always take landlords and their agents to court.
“Mr Sarna had housed a family in the garden shed and had grossly overcrowded the two storey property, leaving tenants in an unsafe, damp and cockroach-infested house while taking £3,700 off them each month for the privilege.
"As he had been granted a licence Mr Sarna knew exactly what was required of him, so we are very pleased that the court shared our view of the seriousness of the offences and imposed such severe penalties".