Ilford Landlord Fined for Housing Tenants in Illegal Outhouse

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An Ilford landlord is facing a £6,000 fine after housing 10 people illegally in a brick outhouse situated in his property’s back garden.

Rogue landlord Palvinder Singh Beesal pleaded guilty to three charges of the failure to comply with a housing prohibition order at Barkingside Magistrates Court on Friday April 13.

Housing officers from Redbridge Council visited Beesal’s Ilford rental property after residents complained that he had switched off gas and electricity to the ground floor of the house. Closer inspection by officers revealed several concerns with the building. These ranged from a general lack of fire safety to at least one gas leak and electrical wiring issues. The electrical issues stemmed largely from the fact that the residents of the first floor had fed cables to the ground floor in order to help people living there access electricity after theirs had been shut off.

Officers discovered clear signs that people had been living in a brick outhouse in the back garden. The outhouse had planning permission only to be used by people already living in the original house. An Emergency Prohibition Order (EPO) was placed on the house by inspectors. This made it illegal for people to live inside.

However, inspectors returned on three occasions last year, in April, June and July. They found that although building work was being done to repair the issues people were still residing in the flats. On the final visit in July inspectors found evidence of at least 10 people living in the outhouse.

Beesal told the court he had spent £80,000 on improvements to the property, which had the EPO against it lifted earlier this month. He claimed to be unaware that the EPO meant no one was allowed to live in the building while improvements were made.

When passing sentence, the magistrate said: ‘You have in the past disregarded the safety of other human beings, and the issue of fire safety has been mentioned quite often by the local authority. There were a number of hazards, there was a gas leak that could have been quite lethal, and we have heard of issues with the electricity that saw the first floor feeding wires through to the ground floor. These are the sort of things that are risky to life and limb of other people.’

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