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Lettings management firm must pay almost £40,000 after 'record' fine

A property management company which ignored a series of housing safety regulations and flouted laws designed to protect tenants’ rights has been handed a record fine after being taken to court by a London council.

AA Property and Construction Services Ltd, run by Ashfaq Spaul, was ordered to pay just under £40,000 in fines and court costs for failing to failing to comply with a series of improvement notices issued to two properties in Tooting, south London.

Its tenants had contacted Wandsworth council to complain of leaks, damp and defective fire safety equipment, but when instructed to make the necessary repairs there was no response.

Among the defects were inadequate fire doors and other fire safety breaches at a five bedroom house that had been split into bedsits in Graveney Road in Tooting.  

At another property the company owned in the same street damp problems caused by defective drains and guttering had not been addressed and were so bad they were causing penetrating damp to the neighbouring house.

When the company was required to produce documents relating to gas and electrical safety at one of the properties to prove they had been installed correctly by a qualified person it failed to respond.

The council says despite repeated attempts by its staff, nothing was done by the firm.

As a consequence the company was prosecuted by the council and Spaul pleaded guilty to three offences at magistrates earlier this month. 

In total the company was fined £30,750 and ordered to pay court costs amounting to £8,720 – a total of £39,470 – the largest sum a landlord has had to pay in a case brought by the council.

The court heard that Spaul’s company had previously been prosecuted by the council for similar failings in 2013 and 2017.

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