A Hounslow landlord is facing fines of over £12,000 after being found to be illegally subletting a basement beneath an outbuilding at his buy to let property.
Gurcharan Singh was found to be letting the home located at 171 Gunnersbury Lane, W3 8LJ. An investigation conducted by Hounslow Council’s planning enforcement team uncovered the illegal basement property that singh was renting out. Singh had previously been issued with a warning by the council in 2013. The warning demanded that he take the basement out of residential use. However, despite this warning the landlord continued to rent out the basement until early 2017, having repeatedly ignored further warnings from the council.
Planning enforcement officers found the property to be extremely cramped, offering no natural light to the tenants who lived inside the property. The rental property also posed a serious safety hazard to all residents, with just one access route via a flight of stairs. The inhospitable conditions found in the property demonstrate a clear example of a rogue landlord exploiting not only the law, but also the welfare of his tenants for financial gain. The council found that the lack of access alone seriously increased the property’s risk of fire hazard.
Singh pleaded guilty in front of Willesden Magistrates Court on 2 October. He was subsequently fined a total of £12,081.25.
Leader of Hounslow Council and Cabinet Member for Planning, Councillor Steve Curran, took a hard line on landlords attempting to exploit vulnerable tenants in the area. He commented on the case: ‘Some landlords are trying to let out sub-standard illegal housing to vulnerable tenants in the hope of making a quick profit.’
Curran continued: ‘We are taking and will continue to take, the strongest action possible against these individuals until this blight on our borough is eliminated once and for all.’