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Landlords fined £27k over ‘dangerous’ HMO

  • 22/03/2022
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Landlords fined £27k over ‘dangerous’ HMO
A landlord couple have been fined £27,000 after they were found to be running a house in multiple occupancy (HMO) which was “littered with hazards”.

Robin and Susan Kirstein, 55 and 60 respectively, of Berkley Avenue, Greenford, admitted a string of 30 offences against the Housing Act and Building Act.

The property, at 6A The Broadway, Northwood, London, came to the attention of Hillingdon Council back in July 2020 as the result of a leaking soil pipe causing raw sewage to pool at the front of the four-storey building.

An inspection revealed that areas of the property had no lighting or heating, there were windows which could not be opened, broken smoke alarms, stairs without handrails and missing door handles. Inspectors from Hillingdon Council discovered mould and broken radiators in the block of flats. A follow up inspection a few months later suggested the situation had actually worsened, while a third inspection, in March 2021, revealed that the various improvement notices issued by the council had been entirely ignored by the owners.

The Kirsteins refused to engage with council officers, declining to provide documents such as copies of the lease, tenancy agreements, gas and electricity certificates.

They were sentenced to a financial penalty of £17,000, as well as being ordered to pay the council’s prosecution costs of more than £10,000.

At the sentencing, District Judge Wright had declared the couple were “in way over their heads” and had turned a blind eye to their responsibilities, which may have been down to their poor financial management.

The Judge condemned the pair, saying: “You had a responsibility not to leave tenants in the property that wasn’t fit for human habitation.”

Councillor Eddie Lavery, cabinet member for environment, housing and regeneration on Hillingdon Council, said the property was “riddled with hazards and dangers that could have proved disastrous”, adding: “This sentencing serves as a warning to any rogue landlords that we’ll take tough measures to ensure homes in our borough are safe and suitable for the tenants.”


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