Hillingdon landlord loses appeal against civil financial penalty

Wednesday, May 17th, 2023 - Hillingdon Council

A Hayes landlord has been ordered to pay more than £6,000 after the First-tier Tribunal upheld Hillingdon Council’s decision to fine him for numerous safety risks caused by his poor management of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

Pradeep Kapoor, of North Park, Iver had appealed a penalty notice for £6,500, issued by the council, for five breaches of HMO Regulations.

Kapoor, who is the joint freeholder alongside his wife, Rita Kapoor, of the property in Stuart Crescent, Hayes, a two-storey house let as an HMO to tenants, was found by the council to have not complied with the regulations following four inspections in September 2021 and a subsequent inspection in December 2021.

Issues with the property included: no restrictors being fitted on some of the windows, permitting the storage of combustible materials under the stairs, the ground floor rear room door not meeting fire safety standards and there not being a fire separation between the kitchen and hall. Council officers also discovered:

  • exposed electrical wiring to a light fitting
  • inoperative extractor fan in the bathroom
  • dirty and greasy kitchen areas
  • defective front door lock
  • thick accumulation of dust and cobwebs in the area around the stairs and
  • failure to display the landlord’s contact details in a prominent position at the property.

The council provided Kapoor with its findings after the inspections in September, giving him ample opportunity to remedy the issues identified. However, while he addressed some issues, the majority remained outstanding.

Kapoor was issued with a notice of intention for the fines totalling £6,500 on 13 January 2022 and sent a final notice on 12 May 2022. Kapoor appealed the decision on 9 June 2022.

The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) found in the council’s favour on 3 April 2023 following an appeal hearing on 27 February 2023.

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said:

This case serves as a reminder to landlords that they are not above the law – they have a duty to proactively manage all of their properties, routinely identifying and resolving problems as they arise.

Kapoor flagrantly ignored a multitude of issues which not only broke the law but put the safety of his tenants at risk.

The council is committed to creating safe and strong communities and we’ll always take action against rogue landlords who flout the rules.

The Tribunal decision can be viewed here.

Our free guide containing more information about property licensing and HMO planning restrictions in the London Borough of Hillingdon is available here.

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