London borough targets rogue landlords
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17 June 2016
The Borough of Barnet has prosecuted rogue landlords and seen them pay more than £220,000 in fines and costs since the beginning of the year.
The latest is a Colindale landlord who has been ordered to pay £25,000 because tenants’ lives were at risk.
Faults at the house of multiple occupation on Varley Parade include no smoke detectors, nor fire resistant doors, as well as failing to have gas safety or electrical test certificates.
Habib Khan, who earns around £20,000 a year in rents from the property, was convicted in his absence at Willesden Magistrates Court.
A spokesperson for Barnet Council said: “The consequences of a fire could have been catastrophic. Mr Khan’s only response to the investigation was to evict two tenants so the house was no longer covered by licensing arrangements.”
North London Newspapers reports that in May Willesden magistrates fined the owners of 10 studio flats in Golders Green £120,000 because the lives of up to 20 tenants were found to be at risk.
The property, on Golders Green Road, had been under a prohibition notice preventing it from being let, but tenants were still being charged around £1150 per calendar month.
A council spokesman said: “Following a complaint from a tenant , our environmental health team found the accommodation to be in a very poor condition and badly managed.
“They found that very serious harm would have been likely if a fire had started at the property – with 10 to 20 people potentially losing their lives.
“The magistrates said the tenants’ financial situation had left them vulnerable.”
Councillor Tom Davey, chairman of Barnet Council’s Housing Committee, said: “The big fines the courts continue to hand down clearly demonstrates how seriously they view landlords who fail to license and manage their rented accommodation.”