Landlords and tenants lose their court appeal and are fined more than £11,000 for unlicensed property in Wembley
A pair of landlords and two tenants were fined more than £11,000 combined after losing their appeal against housing convictions at Harrow Crown Court.
Landlords, Mr and Mrs Zulifqar and Rozina Bhatti, were found guilty of management regulation breaches, failure to obtain a licence and a failure to respond to statutory notices on 12 January this year.
Mr Bhatti was fined £6,100 and asked to pay costs of £4,800. His wife was convicted of two offences for failing to respond to statutory notices, and sentenced to a conditional discharge for 12 months.
Brothers and rent-free tenants, Adeel and Raheel Butt, were fined £200 each with £175 costs each on top.
The brothers were living rent-free in a four bedroom mid-terrace house with other rent-paying tenants in Monks Park, Wembley, when enforcement officers raided the property in June 2016. The landlords had allowed the brothers to live without paying rent because Mr Raheel Butt used to work for Mr Bhatti more than ten years ago.
When the case was heard at Willesden Magistrates Court in January last year, a fifth defendant, Ian Taylor, who was a friend of the landlords, was also fined £400 for failure to respond to the Council’s investigation, as well as £530 in costs. He was the only one of the five defendants who did not appeal his sentence.
At Harrow Crown Court, Judge Cole told Mr and Mrs Bhatti of Barlby Road, Ladbroke Grove, and Adeel and Raheel Butt that they had wasted enough of the court’s time and that he hoped that this is the last he would hear of the matter.
Cllr Harbi Farah, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, Brent Council said:
“Obstructing a Council investigation into housing breaches and a failure to licence is a serious offence. All landlords who rent HMOs in Brent need to stick to the law and license their properties. Anyone who obstructs a council investigation into housing breaches may end up in court slapped with hefty fines and costs.“
For more information about property licensing in Brent, visit www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/brent.
For all the latest news and events, you can sign up for the free London Property Licensing newsletter here.