October 24 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 8, 2014
Two rogue landlords who illegally crammed tenants into a Ilford house have been slapped with Redbridge Council’s highest ever fine for a housing offence.
The overcrowded two-storey property on Roman Road, Loxford, a mostly terraced street, had been unlawfully converted into five “studio” flats, and its catalogue of Housing Act breaches - including defective electrics, water leaks, unprotected escape routes, and no fire alarm - have resulted in a massive £66,000 bill.
Redbridge Council said it believed the fine - the largest it has ever secured under the Housing Act 2004 - is one of the highest ever given.
The condition of the property was so bad that landlords Rana Mohammed Irfan and wife Naheed Rana Irfan, of De Vere Gardens, Ilford, were served with an Emergency Prohibition Order in July 2012 to prevent the property from being occupied.
But the landlords continued to rent out the property in breach of the Emergency Prohibition Order.
In March 2013, they were prosecuted for housing offences by Redbridge Council and pleaded guilty, but the offences continued.
On 15 December 2013, the couple pleaded guilty at Havering Magistrates Court to a further nine offences under the Housing Act.
The case was referred to Snaresbrook Crown Court where each landlord was sentenced and ordered to pay £32,985. If they fail to pay up within five months, they each face 18 months in prison.
Redbridge Council’s cabinet member for housing Cllr Muhammed Javed said: “We will not tolerate landlords who place tenants’ lives at risk by renting out unsafe and badly managed properties.
“This case should act as a warning to others. Rogue landlords are not welcome in Redbridge and will be subject to thorough investigation.”
Housing charity Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb urged other councils to follow Redbridge’s lead in taking action against rogue landlords.
“We’ve been campaigning to urge government and councils to crack down on this small but highly dangerous minority who make people’s lives a misery,” he said.
The council is currently running an HMO licensing amnesty and giving landlords until August 31, 2014, to submit their licence application.
An enforcement campaign begins on September 1 to target landlords who do not come forward.
For further information visit www.redbridge.gov.uk/hmo
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