Fined: Wembley landlord who crammed 16 people into four-bed house
PUBLISHED: 11:41 20 September 2016
A greedy landlord who crammed 16 people into a four-bedroom house in Wembley that was converted into unlicensed bedsits has been fined.
Mohammed Mehdi Ali, of Barn Hill, pocketed at least £2,300 a month from the six families living in the house who were forced to share just one bathroom and two toilets between them with no communal living space.
Willesden Magistrates Court heard he also failed to licence the property, which he lived next door to, and ignored safety regulations by failing to install adequate smoke alarms or mandatory fire doors.
Ali failed to attend court and was convicted in his absence of offences under the Housing Act 2004.
He was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,318 and a victim surcharge of £170 – a total of £7,488.
Letting agents, Easy Let Homes, which collect rent on Ali’s behalf admitted offences under the Housing Act 2004 and was fined £450 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £45.
Cllr Harbi Farah, Brent Council’s lead member for housing, said: “Given the serious overcrowding and poor fire safety in this house, we could easily be reflecting on a much more serious crime here.
“The contempt Ali has shown for this legal process by not even bothering to turn up for sentencing speaks volumes.
“The vast majority of landlords and lettings agents in Brent are honest and law abiding, but we take a zero tolerance approach to the minority who think they can treat their tenants like this.
“Failure to licence your property could result in an unlimited fine and a criminal record.”
Most private landlords in Brent are legally required to obtain a licence for their properties from the council, for more information visit brent.gov.uk/prslicensing.