A housing management company has been successfully prosecuted by Lewisham Council for the poor management of a rental property in Catford.
Silver Wharf Ltd, which is registered in Sydenham, own and manage a portfolio of properties, including a large Victorian house in Brownhill Road in Catford.
Silver Wharf had started to convert the house into five self-contained flats. However, the Council received complaints from local residents about conditions at the property. Officers from the Council visited the house and found various contraventions of the regulations that govern multi-occupancy properties. They also found up to ten people already living in the unsafe property.
In particular, there were concerns over the safety of the electrical installations, lack of security due to a defective front door, leaking water pipes, dumped rubbish in the gardens and various other general repairs that were not carried out to a satisfactory standard.
The owners of Silver Wharf were given time to resolve the issues but failed to do so. It was only when court papers were issued that they resolved some minor repairs but the major contraventions remained untackled.
At a hearing at Bromley Magistrates Court on 2 March the owner, Silver Wharf Ltd, was convicted of two counts of contravening the Management Regulations, along with one count of failure to provide information required by the Council under the provisions of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.
The company was fined a total of £3,000 along with £1,507 costs.
Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: “Silver Wharf is a management company that should have known full well their legal responsibilities; duties that include ensuring that works are safe and not a danger to local residents, or pose a risk to the property itself and neighbouring buildings.
“The Council is keen to work with responsible landlords, preferring to work with them to improve their properties. However, we will prosecute those who fail to take action, or those who ignore legal notices from the Council to improve.”
Silver Wharf is now in administration and the receivers will be approached by the Council to make the property safe.