15 Feb 2021

Two landlords who let an unlicensed London HMO property without providing proper washing facilities or tackling serious fire hazards have been taken to court.

The pair were fined over £22,000 after letting out a property in Hackney without proper safety and hygiene standards, or applying for a council licence.

Magistrates heard that joint owners Ella Louise Hill and Tyrone Bhahari Jnr failed to maintain fire safety doors which could impact escape routes in the event of a fire, and had caused an increased risk of fire spreading – exacerbated by a lack of working smoke alarms.

They also heard that the property’s bathroom had not been maintained, with damage to the washing facilities and faults with the water supply leaving the tenants without adequate washing amenities.

After investigating the property, Hackney council officers charged the pair with failure to licence a House in Multiple Occupation and at least five breaches of HMO management regulations.

The landlords failed to attend court and the case was found proven in their absence.

“The current lockdown measures have highlighted just how important a good, secure and safe place to live is – which is why it’s more important than ever that we’re taking action against landlords who take advantage of Hackney’s housing crisis and subject their tenants to illegal and dangerous living conditions” says the council’s renting adviser, Councillor Sem Moema.

“Nobody should have to live like this – let alone private tenants paying the rocketing rents that are now the norm in Hackney. With expanded licensing measures now guaranteeing better conditions for thousands of renters across Hackney, this sends a clear message that landlords who don’t get the licence they need will be identified and brought before the courts. 

“I’m delighted that those responsible are getting the punishment they deserve.”

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