A former estate agent has to pay back £22,000 in falsely claimed rent. Private landlord Mr. Kuppusami Selvarajan, from Ilford in East London, has been fined £22,000 pounds for failing to provide adequate living conditions to his desperate tenants.
A total of eight tenants, all unrelated and in dire need of a house over their heads, were forced to put up with gross living conditions in a property provided by private landlord Mr. Selvarajan in conjunction with his agent. The house in question, located in Penderyn Way, Tufnell Park, Islington, North London, failed to meet all kinds of housing regulations including:
- Faulty Electrics
- No Fire Alarms
- No Fire Blanket in the Kitchen
- Windows with no Glass
This put Mr. Selvarajab in violation of new House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) regulations and follows on from a similar case, in the area in October 2018, where thirty-five tenants were discovered all cohabiting one converted house.
The action followed a tip-off from one of the tenants, which resulted in an inspection from environmental health inspectors, who discovered the Islington house with the eight unrelated tenants. They were all using the same bathroom and kitchen amenities which meant a breach in the regulations.
The Highbury Corner Magistrates Court delivered guilty verdicts to Mr. Selvarajan and his property management agent, S3A Management, and they were both sentenced to pay fines accordingly. The court hit Mr. Selvarajan with a £8,500 penalty whilst the agent picked up a penalty of £7,650. Both Mr. Selevarajan and S3A Management were instructed to cover all the council’s legal costs, which were £5,773, bringing the cumulative penalty to £21,923.
One of the council’s members stated that all tenants had rights to homes that were secure and reasonably priced within their affordable budgets. Also, the Islington borough council would not put up with dubious private landlords or crooked agents who took unfair advantage of people’s needs for some kind of roof to live under. These helpless people require our assistance and should not be left in the hands of these intolerable landlords who collect rent and provide slum properties that are dangerous living spaces. The council will seek out these kinds of intolerable homes and act with the full force of the law.
This court case comes on the back of a similar case in October 2018 when two dubious men, classified as private landlords, were discovered in the same borough as Mr. Selvarajan, responsible for a house where thirty-five tenants lived. This particular property had five to six people all sleeping in one room. This house, just like the property owned by Mr. Selvarajan, breached many of the HMO regulations. Plus, none of the tenants had rental agreements and they all paid their rent in cash.
It appears the borough of Islington is cracking down on these practices and dishing out fines, as our other regions including those dealing with north west estate agents. One property company who converted a house without the required legal permits, into five single apartments earlier in the year, were fined £304,458.