House in multiple occupation (HMO) landlord Yaakov Maroom has hit a new low by renting a room to a couple who had to crawl on all fours to get into their home.
For £420 a month, the couple shared a single bed hung from the ceiling on chains and balanced between two wardrobes. The “kitchenette” was a microwave, two cooking rings, a small sink and two cupboards.
Barnet Council served an order on Maroom last year banning him from letting the second floor of his HMO in Hendon – but found he ignored the order and had let the room to the couple.
Maroom admitted failing to comply with the prohibition order and was ordered to pay a £1,500 fine and £1,420 in costs.
Willesden Magistrates heard the access to the room was via a staircase too low for an average three-year-old walking upright. The height varied between almost 28 inches and four feet.
Gas safety ignored
A Slough landlord was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay £3,941 costs after admitting breaking two gas safety laws.
Mohammed Nawaz, 25, failed to check gas appliances in a buy to let home for four years, Slough Magistrates Court heard.
A gas engineer was called in by the worried tenant and certified the boiler a risk because of an inadequate seal around the flue and incorrectly-sized gas supply pipes to the boiler.
Nawaz failed to rectify the problem despite warnings from the Health & Safety Executive.
Mohammed Usman, 61, crammed eight tenants into a four-bedroomed unlicensed HMO after subletting the property from a relative.
He allowed one of the tenants to manage the house in Oxford, who sublet to the other tenants without his knowledge, the city’s magistrates were told.
Usman admitted letting the unlicensed home and was fined £2,000 with £1,478 costs.
£10,000 fine for property firm
Landlord Paul Atha and his company Atha Properties Ltd were fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £3,234 costs for ignoring council improvement notices ordering repairs at two shabby letting properties.
Atha was found guilty of the offences after a trial at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court.
During the hearing, the court was told Atha rented had 18 properties around Bradford. His company made a £40,000 trading loss despite collecting £1,662 a week in rent from the 14 that were let to tenants.