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Cowboy HMO landlord given �8,000 fine over 'horror house' HMO conversion


The landlord of a property dubbed a 'house of horrors'� has been ordered to pay more than �8,000 by the courts.

Barking and Dagenham Council enforcement officers discovered water leaks, broken windows and doors, a lack of fire protection, exposed electrical wiring, and rat and cockroach infestation during an inspection of Kalpesh Kapasiwala'�s seven-bed HMO in Netherfield Gardens.

Council officers found the property had no fire doors, working smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarm.

Missing tiles meant water had leaked inside, the boiler was plugged into an extension cable, and there was a lack of adequate facilities. The council wrote to Kapasiwala numerous times to give him the opportunity to correct the problems, but he failed to respond.

Above the law

Councillor Syed Ghani (pictured), cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, says this is a perfect example of a landlord thinking he is above the law.

'This really was a house of horrors for the people who were paying to live there, with countless safety issues being highlighted by our officers,'� he adds.

'We will continue to do everything we can to make sure the small minority of dodgy landlords don'�t risk our residents'� lives.'�

At a hearing at Barkingside Magistrates Court, which Kapasiwala failed to attend, he was fined �6,000 with �335 costs and a �2,000 victim surcharge.

Outhouse case

Meanwhile, landlord Deborah King, of Rucklers Lane, Kings Langley, has been fined �4,000 for renting out an uninhabitable outbuilding.

Following reports of an illegal eviction, Dacorum Council officers found the converted building did not have planning permission or meet building regulations. Tenants also had to cope with no fixed heating and inadequate insulation, a lack of ventilation and other hazards.

St Albans Magistrates found King guilty of not complying with a Prohibition Order and also ordered her to pay costs of �1,784 and a �190 victim surcharge.


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