Landlord found guilty of misleading tenants over illegal flat conversion in Southwark

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 -

A landlord who failed to provide his tenants with adequate living conditions has been found guilty in court.

Mr Majid Saniinejad (53) of Stoke Newington and his company Hertford (UK) Limited had been letting out a property in Maxted Road SE15 despite breaching both planning laws and unfair trading regulations. The ground floor property had been illegally converted into two self-contained flats that provided cramped living space for his tenants.

The court case resulted from a joint investigation by Southwark Council’s trading standards and planning enforcement teams and will see Mr Saniinejad sentenced at a later date. The council has also made an application to the court for an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The District Judge found Mr Saniinejad and his company guilty of ‘misleading omissions’ when he entered into one tenancy and renewed another. These omissions are an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

The defendant was also found guilty of an offence under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for ignoring the council’s warning to return the two flats back into one unit.

Cllr Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for housing said: “I am pleased that we have successfully taken action against this landlord. Mr Saniinejad profited from the plight of his tenants who were forced to live in cramped and uncomfortable conditions.

Landlords have a duty of care that they must take seriously, those who choose to ignore these legal requirements can expect to face legal action and where possible, we will push to recover any financial benefits of their crimes.