Harrow landlord hit with £16,000 penalty
A landlord who rented his hazardous property to a family for years was successfully prosecuted by Harrow Council and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling more than £16,000.
Following a complaint by the tenant, Harrow Council’s environmental protection officers inspected Mr Kanagaratnam Kesavan’s property in Rayners Lane, and found the house in a poor and dangerous state. Officers found serious hazards relating to excess cold, electrical hazards, personal hygiene sanitation and drainage, fire and food safety.
The long list of risks to the tenants included broken windows, broken electric sockets, exposed wiring, broken cooker, damaged and missing doors to kitchen units, missing tiles and a constantly running tap.
Cllr Graham Henson, portfolio holder for environment, crime and community safety said:
“All Harrow residents should be able to live in good quality accommodation and I am shocked that someone would rent their property out while it was in such dangerous and life threatening disrepair. Mr Kesavan showed no interest in the safety of his tenants nor did he bother to discuss the notices issued to him by the council. It could have been worse had our officers not intervened.
“Thanks to the hard work of our officers we have had a successful prosecution. I hope that this sends a strong message to others that this is unacceptable.”
Mr Kesavan was served with two Improvement Notices under the Housing Act 2004 requiring remedial works to be carried out to address the category one hazards. A further two notices were then served under the Environmental Protection Act for a defective boiler, and for water penetration from the toilet into the kitchen below. He never appealed against the notices or contacted the council to discuss the works required.
During a formal interview he admitted the offences of not complying with the Notices but blamed the tenant’s lifestyle for the damage with no proof to his claims. Evidence was presented at Willesden Magistrates Court on 15 March to which he pleaded guilty and was fined and ordered to pay costs in the total sum of £16,120.
The council has recently introduced new property licensing schemes that Harrow landlords need to be aware of. For more information visit www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/harrow or visit the Council’s website.