The owner of a property has been fined for failing to license the property and building an illegal extension at the rear.
Brent Council, in London, prosecuted lawyer Mrs Suhasini Gurusinghe when she failed to respond to a notice that the property’s licence had expired.
Several unsuccessful attempts were made to contact her to establish if the property was still rented and therefore required the licence to be renewed.
Visits to the property revealed that it was rented to six individual tenants as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and had previously been used as bed and breakfast accommodation.
The property was in poor condition, with a broken front door, no fire safety protection and no gas or electrical inspection certificates.
At the rear of the property was a poorly constructed and structurally unstable rear extension being used as a kitchen which had been built without planning permission.
A building surveyor’s inspection of the extension revealed that it could collapse at any time and was in danger of catching fire due to risk of electricity being used from extension leads and the presence of gas canisters. Water for the sink and washing machine was being supplied by rubber pipework connected from inside the main property.
Willesden Magistrates Court fined Gurusinghe £10,000 and ordered her to pay costs of £2,000 and a £170 victim surcharge.
Cllr Harbi Farah, cabinet member for housing, said: “Landlords who put the safety of tenants at risk and are only concerned about profits should be ashamed of themselves and will not be tolerated in Brent. Serious harm could have been caused to these tenants due to the condition of the property if we had not intervened.”
Brent Council confirmed to EYE that Gurusinghe is a solicitor.