£165,000 fine for landlord who crammed 18 people into one flat

Hyde Park landlord fined for cramming 18 people into one flat

A landlord has been ordered by a court to pay more than £165,000 after his tenants were found living in unsafe and overcrowded conditions in a Grade II-listed building in Kensington.

Abbas Rasul and two companies which he was a director at were fined a total of £162,000 and told to pay costs of £3,498 after it was found the flat at 36 Hyde Park Gate lacked proper fire precautions and had a dangerous boiler.

The 64-year-old, from The Quadrangle in Cambridge Square, Paddington, was found guilty of failing to license a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and 22 further charges under HMO Management Regulations at Hammersmith Magistrates' Court.

Rasul, Grosvenor Property Investments Ltd and London Victoria Estates Ltd were charged after environmental health officers from Kensington and Chelsea Council inspected Flat 3 in November last year following a complaint from a tenant.

The court was told the property was one of three flats in the Grade II-listed building and had been poorly converted.

Officers found 18 people living in the large flat, which had been subdivided into small units using flimsy plasterboard partitions and comprised 14 rooms.

Hyde Park landlord fined for cramming 18 into one flat

They were paying an average rent of £800 per month.

Officers found no fire doors, smoke detectors or alarms in the flat, which had one kitchen shared by all the tenants.

The gas boiler had not been serviced and it had a cracked flue which was dangerous, the court heard.

Due to the way the flat had been subdivided, some rooms had no electric light fittings in the ceiling which led to extension leads and trailing wires running through the property.

Conditions were so bad that environmental health officers issued a Prohibition Order to prevent further use of the flat.

The sentence was handed out on October 11 at a hearing Rasul had not attended and requested be adjourned.

But the court was satisfied that every effort had been made to inform all parties that if they did not attend the case would go ahead in their absence.

The court was also aware that the defendants had failed to appear for earlier hearings.

On sentencing, the magistrates said: "We have paid particular attention in our sentencing to the matters we deemed with overriding concern of potential immediate dangers, those being the fire safety hazards."

In coming to our decision we took into consideration there had been a lack of compliance over a considerable amount of time and an attempt to obstruct officers in their investigations.

"There is evidence of substantial disregard of their obligation to protect the tenants while they are living at the property."

Most viewed properties of 2015
See Gallery
Most viewed properties of 2015

The tenth most viewed property of the year on Zoopla, was this beauty in Penrith.

It went on the market in August for just £100,000, and the low price and the opportunity for transformation drew in thousands of people looking for a potential project.

This lovely home was the ninth most popular property of the view. Potential viewers were drawn by the opportunity to buy a five-bedroom detached property, complete with a garage and a drive, for just £187,950.

The eighth most viewed property was another relatively new, detached property, with a garage.

This home also boasts four bedrooms for just £197,950

Seventh place is impressive for a property that only hit the market in November.

It's another relatively new detached property with a garage, at the rock-bottom price - of £180,000

The cheapest home in the top ten comes in at number 6. For just £40,000 you get three bedrooms and a garage in Liverpool.

It's no wonder that so many people, who have been squeezed by soaring property prices, are keen to view a property that offers a glimpse of hope.

In fifth place is the first of two mega-expensive homes on the list - and by far the most unusual. This one, in Newport, south Wales, hit the market in February for £1,899 950.

The 1720s hunting lodge and tower had been transformed during an episode of Grand Designs in 2009 - by a couple who added a dramatic glass extension. Thousands of us couldn't resist having a look around.

This swanky new-ish property in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, made number four, despite only going on the market in October.

It ticks all the boxes that have put so many of these properties on the list - being detached, and offering five bedrooms plus a garage.

The price reflects the fact it offers all that - in one of the priciest parts of the country. It makes it the most expensive property in the top ten.

A detached property in Bradford, offering three bedrooms for just £149,950 made it to number three.

It's perhaps unsurprising that it attracted so much interest, because it's one of the cheapest properties in the top ten, and the many thousands of viewers must have been astonished they could get so much family home for their money.

The joint-second cheapest property on the list is the second most viewed property in the country.

It benefited from the fact that it went on the market at the end of 2014, so had plenty of time to attract viewers. However, the appeal of a detached, 3-bedroom house for just £100,000 drew viewers in their thousands.

The number one most viewed property in 2015 was this 6-bedroom farmhouse in County Durham.

It demonstrates that we're a nation of dreamers, drawn by the affordable £175,000 price tag - as well as the huge potential of a six-bedroom farmhouse, outbuildings, almost eight acres of land and planning permission for a wind turbine.

It's no wonder s many thousands of us popped online to dream of a cheaper and simpler life in the country.


Read Full Story