Brothers found guilty of bedsit misery in Southwark
Two landlords who put their tenants’ lives at risk have each been fined £2,800 following a successful prosecution by Southwark Council.
Brothers Mr Candido Pereira Rodrigues and Mr Abilio Pereira Rodrigues, owners of the Banana Bar in Walworth and two floors of bedsits above, pleaded guilty to two offences under the Management of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) Regulations 2006 at Croydon Magistrates Court. They were convicted and fined £2,800 each and £280 in costs.
The case was brought to trial following damning inspections by Southwark Council. Housing enforcement officers found several alarming HMO regulation breaches including:
- failure to provide adequate fire alarm systems; and
- substandard conditions in the communal areas where officers found damp and mould in the bathrooms.
Despite numerous warnings from the council about the poor housing conditions, the brothers failed to make adequate improvements and so the council decided to launch a prosecution.
Councillor Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for housing said:
“People living in HMOs, for instance bed-sits, tend to have the least ability to choose their housing and often have no choice but to put up with substandard living conditions. This is absolutely unacceptable and is why, as a council, we will work hard to advise and support our most vulnerable residents.
“The Rodrigues brothers failed in their responsibility as a landlord and have rightfully been made to pay for this. This case signals our commitment to improving residents’ housing situation, irrespective of who their landlord is.“
Southwark Council has recently consulted on a proposal to implement additional and selective licensing in order to tackle anti-social behaviour and drive up standards within the private rented sector. The outcome of the consultation is expected to be announced soon.
For the latest information on property licensing in Southwark, visit www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/southwark.