Landlord prosecuted over multiple fire and safety risks

November 27, 2023

A landlord and a property management company were found guilty earlier this month of putting tenants at risk, following a council investigation and prosecution.

Officers at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea made a dawn raid at the 22-bedroom house of multiple occupation (HMO) in Hyde Park Gate in 2021, where they found multiple fire and damp risks.

Following a complaint from a tenant back in 2020, the Council begun an investigation which would uncover the landlord was unlicensed to operate the 22-bedroom house-share style property. Despite repeated warnings, the landlord did not apply for a licence and the Council eventually visited with the Met Police and London Fire Brigade.

Officers found:

•   Defective and damaged fire doors.

•   Inadequate fire separation between bedrooms and protection in the boiler room or lobby.

•   Covered fire alarms.

•   Burnt out and loose electrical sockets.

Tenants were also cooking in their room using camping-style facilities without proper kitchen facilities. There was rising damp and mould growth throughout the property and single glazed windows with rotten frames, draughts and broken sashes. The inside of the property was so damp that mushrooms were growing in upper floors.

Blackstone Properties Management Limited and director of the company, Mr Mohamed Ali Rasool, were fined a total of £480,000 plus costs at Westminster Magistrate Court earlier this month.

Cllr Cem Kemahli, lead member for planning and public realm, said: “Let this judgement be a clear lesson to other landlords and agents – if you are offering poor quality accommodation we will find you and we will come after you.

“We want the best homes in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Our landlord licensing schemes are seeking out the bad operators to ensure safer homes for everyone and a fairer market for good operators.

“Privately rented homes form a crucial part of our housing mix but they must be up to scratch. Our teams stand by to help and assist landlords in answering concerns or offering suggestions about how to improve your properties.”

This is valid as of 27th November 2023.

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