The landlord of a flat in Cricklewood has been charged almost £18,000 after a court found him responsible for refusing to make vital renovations to his property.
Paul Fenton, of Radlett, Hertfordshire, was letting the flat on Walm Lane for £1,000 per month and failed to explain how it had got into such a state of disrepair. The property had a dilapidated, leaking boiler, a rotting front door and was suffering from such severe damp that the chair of magistrates declared it unfit to live in.
Fenton pleaded guilty to offences under the Housing Act 2006 at Willesden Magistrates Court but said he assumed the tenants were satisfied as they hadn’t approached him about the state of the flat. The occupant did contact Brent Council to complain about its condition, and enforcement officers found a whole host of deficiencies when they visited in August 2015.
Fenton was issued with a formal demand from the council which required him to repair the damage within 56 days. Council officers returned to the flat in both January and May this year and discovered that the required repairs had not been done.
The court ultimately fined him £16,000 and ordered him to pay costs of £1,573 to the victim in addition to a victim surcharge of £120 – a total of £17,693.
Cllr Harbi Farah, Brent Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The dreadful conditions found at this flat reaffirm once again how important our private sector licensing scheme is.
“Slumlords like Mr Fenton should not be allowed to get away with treating their tenants like this.
“Brent is committed to supporting tenants by prosecuting unscrupulous landlords who are happy to under maintain and over crowd their properties.”
Mr Fenton is appealing against his prosecution.