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24 July 2015
A London landlord tops a list of letting agents and landlords who have been convicted for housing offences with seven prosecutions since 2006.
Katia Goremsandu received fines totally £16,565 for the offences, including one case last year in which she put tenants lives at risk by covering a faulty fire alarm with a black sticker.
Ms Goremsandu’s barrister Wayne Lewis defended her record telling The Guardian: “She feels had she been given more help from the council in how to deal with the repairs she wouldn’t have had all these prosecutions. They threw the book at her repeatedly and prosecuted her without delay.”
The list of convictions was released by the Ministry of Justice after a successful Freedom of Information request from Environmental Health News.
The figures reveal that total fines from prosecutions related to poor quality homes or unlicensed homes totals £3m in the eight years between 2006 and 2014.
Other instances of fire safety breaches were also uncovered in the data.
Private company Serco was fined £5,120 for the fire risks found at a bedsit under its ownership in Liverpool.
James Thorburn, managing director of the company’s home affairs business, said: “When Serco was informed of the breach we took immediate action to remedy the situation. This breach should not have happened and therefore we pleaded guilty.”