Record Fine for Tooting Landlord Who Ignored Council Warnings

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A Tooting landlord has been handed a record fine of £40,000 after ignoring a series of housing safety regulations and defying laws which aim to protect the rights of tenants.

Ashfaq Spaul’s company AA Property and Construction Services Ltd was ordered to pay nearly £40,000 in fines and court costs. The company had failed to comply with a series of improvement notices issued to two properties in Tooting.

The tenants in the property had contacted the council complaining of leaks, damp and defective fire safety equipment. The landlord was then instructed to make the necessary repairs, but failed to respond to the council’s communication.

The property, a five-bedroom house in Tooting, contained several serious issues, including inadequate fire doors and other fire safety breaches. The company owned a second property in the same street which was plagued with damp problems caused by defective drains and guttering. These issues had not been addressed and were causing penetrating damp to the neighbouring house.

The company was told to produce documents relating to gas and electrical safety at one of the properties in order to prove they had been installed correctly by a qualified person. Again, the company failed to respond.

Mr Spaul’s company had been prosecuted by the council for similar offences in 2013 and 2017.

AA Property and Construction Services Ltd was prosecuted by the council. The landlord pleaded guilty to three offences at Lavender Hill magistrates earlier this month. In total the company was charged of a record fine £30,750 and ordered to pay court costs amounting to £8,720. The payments totalled £39,470, marking the largest sum a landlord has had to pay in a case brought by the council.

Wandsworth’s director of public health, Houda Al-Sharif said: ‘This was a comprehensive series of failings by this landlord to provide safe and adequate housing for his tenants. He has learned another expensive lesson that if you fail in your duties as a landlord then you are likely to face legal action. This should also serve as a warning to other landlords who think they can ignore requests for repairs or fail to demonstrate that their gas and electrical appliances have been fitted by a competent and qualified person.’

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