Magistrates have fined the leaseholders and landlords of a 10-flat property in north London £120,000 after finding they had put the lives of up to 20 people at risk.
Willesden Magistrates Court heard that Idris Raza, TISHK Limited and Hanasa Limited continued to house tenants in 10 studio flats in Golders Green even after Barnet Council made a Prohibition Order. They were found guilty on of ignoring the order and of badly managing the property.
Following a complaint from a tenant of one of the flats, Barnet council found the accommodation to be in a very poor condition and badly managed. The magistrates said Raza had displayed reckless behaviour as both an individual and as director of TISHK Ltd and Hanasa Ltd.
They found that very serious harm would have been likely if a fire had started at the property with 10 to 20 people potentially losing their lives.
The magistrates said the tenants’ financial situation had left them vulnerable and the defendants had defied the order to profit themselves.
The risks reported to the court included inadequate fire separation between the rooms, four studios with no external windows, broken ceiling panels, inadequate locks on studio doors, faulty internal corridor lighting and an accumulation of furniture at the top of the only staircase leading to and from the flats.
As well as failing to comply with the order the leaseholders and landlords were found to have breached the Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2007.
All three defendants were found guilty and fined a total of £120,000, with costs of £21,660 and surcharges of £360.