Slum landlord of Cricklewood flat fined £17,000
PUBLISHED: 12:31 05 August 2016 | UPDATED: 12:31 05 August 2016
A private landlord has been fined more than £17,000 for refusing to make vital renovations to his rental property in Cricklewood.
Paul Fenton, who lives in the affluent Hertfordshire village of Radlett, pleaded guilty at Willesden Magistrates Court to leaving his rental property in Walm Lane with severe damp and mould growth.
The studio flat, which was let for £1,000 a month, was also found to have a dilapidated, leaking boiler and a rotting front door and was unfit to live in, the court heard.
Brent Council enforcement officers inspected the flat last August after a tenant complained and found a host of deficiencies and hazards.
Mr Fenton was issued with a formal demand to repair the damage within 56 days but by May this year the repairs had still not been done.
Mr Fenton, who has owned the flat since 1990, claimed that he had not been inside it for years and assumed the tenants were happy with its condition as they had not asked him for help with repairs.
He said that the cheap rent and the fact that he had allowed the tenants to break their tenancy agreement by keeping a dog and running a business from the flat meant that they were happy with the situation.
The court fined him £16,000 and ordered him to pay costs of £1,573 and 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.
To find out more about private landlord licensing go to brent.gov.uk/prslicensing.