Two men have been ordered to pay almost £8,000 for renting out flats in a property in East Mount Street, E1, in defiance of regulations designed to keep tenants safe.
A Prohibition Order came into force in September 2015 after an inspection by an Environmental Health Officer found the property did not comply with the Housing Act 2004 Health and Housing Rating. The premises on East Mount Street was prohibited from being used for residential purposes.
In January 2017 the Revenue Services (Council Tax) emailed Environmental Health and Trading Standards with information that the premises was actually being occupied.
A Planning Enforcement Notice was issued in February 2017 relating to breaches of planning regulations. The notice suggested that major alterations had been made to the premises.
One of the breaches related to the conversion of the upper floors of the premises from one large multi-occupied flat to six self-contained studio flats.
Despite the major alterations, at least three of the hazards that were listed in the Prohibition Order from Environmental Health and Trading Standards had not been addressed.
Mohammed Abdul Miah of Brady Street, E1, was fined £2,500 relating to a breach of regulation 5(2) (firefighting equipment and alarms) as well as costs of £1,912 and a victim surcharge of £190, totalling £4,802.
Gambir Singh of East Mount Street was fined £1,000 on a charge relating to the breach of the prohibition notice and will have to pay costs of £1,912 and a victim surcharge of £190, totalling £3,012.
Neither defendant was in Thames Magistrates’ Court to hear the verdict.
Charges against a third dependent were withdrawn as a result of a mental health report from a doctor.
Mayor John Biggs said: “The Council takes the safety of all our residents very seriously. Our housing officers work with landlords to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities and we will always look to prosecute those that fail to comply with their duties.”
Cllr Eve McQuillan, Cabinet Member for Planning and Social Inclusion, said: “This Council is committed to improving housing conditions for everyone who lives in our borough and preventing any residents having to live in unsafe conditions. This type of enforcement action is part of that commitment.”