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Kilburn landlord from hell fined and served with an Asbo

PUBLISHED: 13:50 08 November 2012 | UPDATED: 14:06 08 November 2012

Catherine Boyle owns 14 Iverson Road

Catherine Boyle owns 14 Iverson Road

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Catherine Boyle risked the lives of tenants living in her property in Iverson Road

What is a HMO and fire retardant furniture?

A HMO is a house split into bedsits, a house or flat share where each tenant has their own tenancy agreement or a property with students living in shared accommodation

Depending on the property, its tenants and where they live a HMO license might be required.

Boyle was providing non-retardant furniture which is against the law as all upholstered furniture must meet fire resistance standards.

New furniture must be permanently labelled and second hand furniture made after 1950 must be fire resistant and meet certain tests.

The filling materials must meet certain standards so they don’t catch fire easily, upholstery must be cigarette resistant and covers must usually be match resistant.

A resident landlord from hell who put her tenants’ lives at risk by ignoring safety regulations has become the first in the UK to be served with an Asbo.

Catherine Boyle, who lived alongside her tenants in her property in Iverson Road, Kilburn, is banned from causing harassment, alarm or distress to her tenants, entering their rooms without their consent, and cutting off their gas and electricity supply.

The Asbo lasts for two years.

Action was taken against the 59-year-old after she was convicted of failing to carry out works specified in an Improvement Notice and four breaches of fire-related House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) regulations.

Despite previous warnings she continued to provide her tenants with non-fire retardant furniture.

On Tuesday, Highbury Magistrates Court heard Boyle, who was cautioned for assaulting one of her tenants in August 2010, was served with an Improvement Notice by Camden Council in April last year.

The notice ordered her to carry out extensive works to deal with excess cold, entry by intruders, damp, fire food safety, and falls by that November.

However the work had not been done when council inspectors visited the property in January this year.

Her deadline was extended but when inspectors returned in May they discovered the fire detection and alarm system were not connected to a power supply, fire doors were inadequate and furniture was still non fire-retardant.

The property also had a lack of insulation to the roof and walls and the single glazed windows were in a state of repair allowing for draughts.

She was fined £3,600, ordered to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £4459.60 and a £15 victim support levy.

She has also been ordered to carry out the work by March next year.

Councillor Julian Fulbrook, Camden Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Living in a cold damp home has a negative impact on people’s health including increased risk of hypothermia, respiratory illness, heart attack and strokes, underweight infants, social isolation and financial stress.

“We inspect all our HMOs regularly to make sure they comply with all health and safety regulations so that tenants are safe in their homes. In the most serious cases we have the power to revoke an HMO licence and take over the running of the properties ourselves.”


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