October 21 2014 Latest news:
Friday, July 25, 2014
A landlord who let an “appalling” mouse-infested house to nine tenants – including a toddler – has been ordered to pay out £18k after being convicted of 15 offences.
Abdul Rashid Warishaully, 44, of South Park Road, Ilford, failed to turn up for his hearing at Redbridge Magistrates Court after being prosecuted by Redbridge Council.
But after being tried in his absence, the landlord was found guilty of 15 offences under the Housing Act 2004.
The court heard Warishaully had been renting out a three-storey property in Cavenham Gardens to nine unrelated people including two children – one only 18 months old.
The council’s housing standards officers, planning enforcement and Redbridge Community Police Team visited the property on September 25.
The property had no fire alarm system, unprotected escape routes, obstructed fire escapes, defective electrical installation, a mouse infestation and missing guarding to the staircase.
Properties which need a HMO licence include any property with three or more floors and five or more occupants from two or more families who share facilities.
The landlord had been served with an Emergency Prohibition Order to prevent the property from being occupied.
Despite this, the landlord reconnected the unsafe electrics and continued to rent out the property.
At the hearing, Warishaully was found guilty of 15 offences including housing management offences, breaches of the Emergency Prohibition Order, failing to license an HMO, and failing to provide the council copies of safety certificates.
A fine of £16,000 plus costs of £2,794 and a victim surcharge of £120 was ordered to be paid within 28 days.
Councillor Muhammed Javed, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “The conditions found at this property were truly appalling and placed the tenants’ safety at considerable risk.
“These sort of conditions will not be tolerated by Redbridge Council and landlords who flout the law can expect to face being caught and prosecuted.
“I believe it’s a right of everyone to live in a safe and secure accommodation.”
Redbridge Council is currently running an HMO licensing amnesty and is giving landlords until August 31 to submit their licence application.
A crackdown will begin on September 1 to target landlords who do not come forward to apply for a licence.
They will be prosecuted where appropriate, which could result in a £20,000 fine.