Two rogue landlord firms which granted a tenancy in “cynical disregard” of licensing rules, then failed to properly repair ongoing faults, have been handed a hefty fine.
MPL Estates Ltd and Wisteria Management Ltd must share a £15,303 rent repayment order – 90% of the rent - to three former tenants who moved into their three-bedroom flat above a shop on Commercial Road, London (main picture), in July 2021 and faced problems from day one.
A First Tier Property Tribunal heard that as well as not having a licence, tenants did not get a How to Rent booklet or gas safety certificate for months.
There was no carbon monoxide alarm within the property and the front door lock was faulty which meant the tenants were either locked inside, or unable to get in.
The landlord was not willing to install a new one or spend any money on the flat.
When the tenants were forced to move out due to a water leak, the landlord told them to share a bathroom with the next-door flat.
A precarious water tank also fell off the roof onto their balcony as one tenant was bringing in washing.
When the landlord eventually agreed to provide temporary accommodation, the tenants found a new bathroom had been installed but no flooring or tiling, while the flooring on the landing had been ripped up and the balcony was unusable. It remained in this state until the end of the tenancy.
The tribunal added that it was apparent there was a close connection between the two companies, with Shakeel Saeed Mohmed and Saeed Yusuf Mohmed having links to both.
It said: “The demand for private sector accommodation in Tower Hamlets is so high that property owners such as the respondents confidently market dangerous and overcrowded accommodation in the knowledge that rental income is high, with minimal risk of enforcement action being taken by the local authority.”