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Graham Awards


Council acts over cockroaches and overcrowding at rental property

A buy to let investor who kept 24 adults and children in what a local council calls “appalling conditions” has a bill of almost £10,000.

Brent council says the residents of a two-storey flat over a commercial property in Wembley endured overcrowding, cockroaches and fire safety hazards; they were crammed into six bedrooms and two undersized rooms inside the flat.

When neighbours complained to Brent council about rubbish and apparent overcrowding in November last year, the authority says its enforcement officers attempted to work with the landlord, Shyam Popat, but he is accused of ignoring their advice.

Now Popat has pleaded guilty to breaching the conditions of his HMO licence at Willesden Magistrates Court; he also failed to provide up-to-date certificates, tenancy documents or protection for his tenants' deposits.

Popat was fined £6,000 for breaching the conditions and ordered to pay £3,953 in costs.

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    This is silly stuff. Twenty four adults so monthly rents probably around £7,000. This sort of fine is only just about ,"annoying", no more than that. It might be unbelievable wealth for one of the tenants though.


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