The landlord was fined after 18 people were found living in a Grade-II listed Hyde Park gate “slum”
The landlord’s tenants, most of whom were migrant hotel workers, were found to be crowded into a converted four-bedroom flat in the Grade-II listed mansion overlooking Hyde Park in central London, one of the highest priced residential locations in the country.
Abbas Rasul, a 64 years old landlord of Paddington was collecting £800 a month in rent on average from each of the tenants, which was grossing him around £15,000 a month, or £180,000 per annum.
As reported by the London Standard, the property on Hyde Park Gate is adjacent to the Dutch embassy and very close to a £23 million house where Sir Winston Churchill died in 1965.
The flat had been divided by using simply plasterboarding to provide 14 bedsits occupied in total by 18 people.
Hammersmith magistrates were told that the flat was in an unsafe condition and represented a serious fire hazard, with no fire doors, smoke detectors or alarms. There was just one kitchen, some rooms were even without lighting and the heating system consisted of an unserviced gas boiler with a cracked flue.
Rasul ran several grand sounding companies: Grosvenor Property Investments Ltd and London Victoria Estates Ltd, of which were both found guilty of failing to license a house in multiple occupation and in breach of 22 housing regulations.
Rasul was not in court to hear the guilty verdict. His fines though his companies totalled £162,000 and he was ordered to pay £3,498 in costs.
Kensington and Chelsea Council’s deputy leader, Rock Feilding-Mellen, told the Standard:
“This type of landlord has no place anywhere, and in Kensington and Chelsea we will do our utmost to crack down on them.
“Tenants were living in crowded conditions created by illegal and unsafe alterations.”
A close Neighbour Melanie Taylor said:
“The comings and goings were ridiculous. There were so many people arriving and leaving with suitcases — the landlord was clearly cramming them in and it amounted to years of hell for us.
“The building used to be split into family apartments, but that all changed. This is an embassy district and he was running a downmarket hostel. We were all very angry about it.”
London landlord fined £165,000 https://t.co/WbyBqabZTo
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) October 27, 2016