'Nobody should have to live like this': Rogue landlords fined £22,000
- Credit: Hackney Council
Rogue landlords who illegally let a Lower Clapton property without providing proper washing facilities or tackling serious fire hazards have been fined after a Hackney Council prosecution.
Joint owners Ella Louise Hill and Tyrone Bhahari Jnr were fined more than £22,000 after letting out the property in Durrington Road without following proper safety and hygiene standards, or even applying for the required licence.
Thames Magistrates Court heard on Monday (February 8) that Ms Hill and Mr Bhahari Jnr failed to maintain fire safety doors in the building which could impact escape routes if a fire broke out, and increased the risk of fire spreading – exacerbated by a lack of working smoke alarms.
They also heard the property’s bathroom had not been maintained, with damage to the washing facilities and faults with the water supply leaving the tenants without adequate washing amenities.
After investigating the property, council enforcement officers took swift legal action against the landlords who were charged with failure to licence a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and five breaches of HMO management regulations.
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The landlords failed to attend court and the case was found proven in their absence.
The council's housing chief, Cllr Sem Moema, said: “Nobody should have to live like this – let alone private tenants paying the rocketing rents that are now the norm in Hackney.
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“The current lockdown measures have highlighted just how important a good, secure and safe place to live is – which is why it’s more important than ever that we’re taking action against landlords who take advantage of Hackney’s housing crisis and subject their tenants to illegal and dangerous living conditions.
As part of its BetterRenting campaign the council’s property licensing measures require landlords to meet high standards or face a financial penalty of up to £30,000 for each offence or an unlimited fine from the court.