A landlord has been ordered to pay £24,000 in a fine and costs after Barnet Council inspectors found he had been housing five tenants in a dangerous property.
They discovered issues including damaged doors and an insecure front door at the House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO). Officers reported an overbearing smell and a first-floor landing blocked by so many items that a tenant had to climb over them to enter and leave his room.
The conditions were so dangerous that the council served an Emergency Prohibition Order requiring the tenants to immediately leave the property in Graham Park, Colindale for their safety.
Councillor Ross Houston, Chair of the Housing and Growth Committee, said: “We will not tolerate landlords who flout the rules in Barnet. The safety of our residents is paramount. It is the responsibility of landlords to keep their properties safe, though our Private Sector Housing Team will help them wherever possible.
“Landlords who let unlicensed HMOs or fail to manage them properly risk prosecution or penalty notices of up to £30,000. We are committed to providing quality, affordable and safe housing for our residents – please play your role to help make Barnet a better place.”
Landlord Rakesh Shah was found guilty of four offences at Willesden Magistrates Court last month after police reports of drugs at his property. The landlord was also made to attend training and obtain accreditation through the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme as a condition of securing his HMO licence from Barnet Council.
The council will renew its HMO licensing scheme on 27 October 2022, requiring the majority of HMOs in the borough to be licenced and to maintain safety standards.
Barnet Council September 2022