24 Jul 23
A landlord with an OBE has been branded a “rogue” by a West London council for his poor management of 22 properties where tenants lived in “appalling conditions”.
Nirpaul Riat was taken to court after being issued an Emergency Prohibition Order by Hounslow Council due to poor conditions in 22 of his properties, and judges fined him £300,000 for the long list of issues.
Damp, squalid rooms with limited natural light, a lack of hot water, heating which only worked irregularly as well as leaks and a mould problem were among a catalogue of faults identified at the houses, which had been converted into flats without consent, as people were forced to live in “terrible conditions”.
Riat was handed the fine by judges at Isleworth Crown Court after “two decades of managing illegally converted houses”, which included illegally converting a property into eight flats and renting an outbuilding in Osterley. He now faces being sent to prison if he does not pay the fine.
The landlord was previously fined £20,000 in 2009 for illegally converting a property in Hanworth into flats.
Hounslow Council now wants Riat to be stripped of his OBE, which he earned for services to Charity and to the Punjabi People in 2011.
Cllr Tom Bruce, cabinet member for Regeneration and Development at Hounslow Council, said: “This landlord treated his tenants as nothing more than a commodity – exploiting residents in need of housing for his own financial gain.
“While these residents were left to languish in these appalling conditions, Nirapaul grew rich at their expense. I hope today’s verdict sends a message that we do not – under any circumstances – tolerate rogue landlords in Hounslow and will use the full force of the law to prosecute them.”
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