Failed to comply with houses in multiple occupation regulations
A landlord who put his tenants’ lives at risk was found guilty of failing to comply with houses in multiple Occupation (HMO) regulations and ordered to pay over £200,000 in fines.
The landlord and a property company were ordered to pay the fine at Westminster Magistrates Court after the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster councils’ successful prosecution. It was ruled that he and the company had housed tenants in two properties that council officers described as being in a “pretty dreadful state”.
One of the two dangerous properties a three-storey, four bedroomed property in Bayswater was found have at least six tenants living there, and in their investigation council officers found ‘death traps’ waiting to be triggered. The property’s cooker hub was extremely dangerous as it had an exposed ‘live’ electrical cable which was taped together and the board underneath was charred and could have caused any of the tenants to be electrocuted.
The investigation team also discovered on the second floor, an extremely rotten bedroom balcony guard that could have resulted in a tenant falling more than 16 feet to the ground below.
At the hearing during sentencing, District Judge Roscoe scathingly said: “I wouldn’t stay there and I doubt you would.”
The second property in Kensington and Chelsea that was also dangerous in the landlord’s and property company’s management is a three-storey property which again housed at least six tenants and did not have any means of a safe escape if a fire started, the property did not have any gas and electrical certificates.
Cllr Antonia Cox, cabinet member public protection and licensing, said: “Mr Hu endangered his tenants’ lives through a complete disregard for their health and wellbeing. His tenants paid rent to live in what amounted to a death-trap.
“This case should be a warning to rogue landlords that Westminster City Council will ensure they pay heavily through their pockets for housing people in poor conditions.”