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A letting agent who rented out a damp, dangerous and dilapidated property received a hefty fine following a successful council prosecution.
Key Property (UK) Ltd of 47 Bell Road, Hounslow, who trade under the name Key Solutions and Key Lettings, were fined £42,500, on top of costs and compensation worth £5,040, at Feltham Magistrates Court after being found guilty of 15 housing offences.
The offences related to a property on Cromwell Street, Hounslow, which the council investigated following complaints from tenants in July last year.
Officers inspecting the property found seven tenants living at the property, in five separate bedrooms, which included the front and rear living rooms.
They discovered a significant number of defects relating to excess cold, damp and mould, electrical hazards, problems with sanitation and drainage, security, fire safety, structural hazards and hygiene.
A boiler that had been turned off by the manufacturer due to its unsafe installation had been switched back on.
It was also discovered that the property was a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and required a license to be let out to tenants. Having a license would mean the property was being managed well, and was suitable for occupation.
Cllr Steve Curran, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration at the council said:
“The fact the fine for failing to have an HMO license is one of the largest in the country shows the seriousness of the offences.
“I’m pleased magistrates have thrown the book at this criminal letting agent, as the conditions the tenants were living in – no fire alarms, dangerous gas and electrics, and some of the worst damp and mould our officers have ever seen – were, frankly, appalling.
“They took more than £24,000 in rent from these tenants and left them to live in squalor.
“They tried to avoid their legal responsibilities, but thanks to the hard work of our housing team, we were able to successfully prosecute them.”
Key Property were found guilty of 15 housing offences at Feltham Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 4 September.
The offences, fines and costs awarded were:
The director of Key Property (UK) Ltd is Mrs Adibah Uddin, and the company secretary is Mr Iftikhar Uddin
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