Record fines of nearly £100,000 have been dished out to six rogue landlords through four weeks of prosecutions by Brent Council.
Courts were told tales of broken windows, damp, mould and vermin, with the cases accruing total fines of £97,727, the highest figures recorded in Brent over a similarly short period.
Bernard Patrick McGowan was instructed to pay over £40,000 for the failure to licence a flat. He was also penalised for maintenance issues with the property, which housed two children. McGowan was then also fined for licensing breaches of another property, and made to pay a total of £6,902, comprised of a £5,000 fine, £1,732 costs, £170 victim surcharge. Michael Zanon, the manager of the property, was also fined £3,402.
Vera Accommodation Ltd and Nathaniam Ltd, two companies for which Zanon acts as Director, were also fined, hit with costs of £7,902 and £3,902 respectively.
Five defendants were fined a total of £18,700 for licensing offences by Willesden Magistrates Court. Zulfiqar Bhatti and Rozina Bhatti were convicted of failing to obtain adequate licensing, and fined £8,970 and £8,370 respectively. Three defendants also faced fines for failing to supply the council with information about the occupiers.
Alshad Ladha and Diana Nemes, of Montpellier Road, W5, were fined a total fine of £5,585 for their failure to licence a shared home and inability to ‘comply with management regulations.’
Griegore Lowas was also convicted of licensing breaches at Willesden Magistrates Court, and fines £4,998 after subletting his property. Patience Abaraonye had previously been found guilty of the same offence, known as ‘rent-to-rent.’
Abaraonye had sublet her Kenton residence despite not living at the address, and thus needed a licence to do so. The property did not have fire protection measures and safety hazards were found in areas such as the staircase. Abaraonye was fined a total of £4,848.
A council spokesman commented: ‘Tenants should be aware that Rent Repayment Orders can be awarded against landlords where prosecutions have been secured against rogue landlords. Tenants may be able to claim back up to 12 months of rent paid via the Residential Property Tribunal.’