17:31 PM, 29th February 2012, About 12 years ago
An HMO landlord was fined £4,000 for letting 16 tenants live in filthy and dangerous conditions – including in a back garden shed.
Council investigators raided a shared house owned by Sandeep Bhambra after a tenant complained a ceiling had collapsed in her rented room.
The team found 16 tenants living in a house in multiple occupation licensed for 13 at Hillingdon, Uxbridge – including a shed in the back garden which he was illegally letting despite being ordered to stop almost two years earlier.
The house was described to Uxbridge magistrates as filthy, overcrowded and unsafe as fire safety equipment was not maintained.
Bhambra admitted five charges of failing to manage and maintain his property and was also ordered to pay £500 costs.
The court heard tenants told the council that their repeated requests to clean and repairs the house were ignored by Bhambra. Councillor Philip Corthorne, cabinet member for social care health and housing, said: “Tenants in the borough should be provided with safe and clean accommodation. Any landlord not managing their property to the appropriate standard will be investigated by Hillingdon Council and they could find themselves facing a hefty fine like Mr Bhambra.”
Meanwhile, landlords Liquiat Shah and his wife Parveen Bushra were fined £3,000 each and ordered to pay £343 costs each for letting a house without an HMO licence by Rochdale magistrates. The couple failed to apply for a licence over a number of months, claiming they felt the responsibility was with the tenants not the landlords, even though the Housing Act is specific the landlord must have a licence.
Councillor Linda Robinson, cabinet member for adult care, health and housing said: “First and foremost the licensing scheme is there to protect tenants. “We will work with new landlords who are not aware of the law but we will prosecute those whose properties are dangerous or who might think that they can wait for the council to find them before applying to be licensed.”
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