Mr Balwinder Singh Kahlon, the landlord of a property on East Avenue in Southall, received a substantial fine of more than £70K at Ealing Magistrates’ Court as the result of action by Ealing Council.
Appearing in court on Friday, 30 October, Mr Kahlon was sentenced for 18 offences of failing to comply with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 (Section 234(3) and (5) of the Housing Act 2004) and one offence in breach of Section 72(2) of the Housing Act 2004, having pleaded guilty to the charges.
The 19 fines imposed totalled £69,100 and he was also ordered to pay council costs of £3,180.43 and the victim surcharge of £120, a penalty sum of £72,400.43.
The breaches in relation to the management of the property were discovered during an unannounced inspection of the premises in January by regulatory services officers. The property, a licenced house in multiple occupation (HMO) for 10 individuals in seven households, was found to have a number of serious management breaches, including blocked means of escape, dirty and unmaintained bathrooms and kitchens, unclean common parts, and poor maintenance of the emergency lighting.
A warrant was obtained to enter the property and when it was executed in February, officers discovered 20 individuals, including two babies, making up 10 households residing at the address. Some people were living in two windowless rooms that were unsuitable for residential occupation.
Mr Kahlon had ignored the terms and conditions of his HMO licence by cramming in more than double the number of tenants he was permitted to have in the property. The council brought a prosecution against him for offences relating to his failure to comply with the management of the HMO and one of permitting more occupants or households than allowed by his HMO licence.
Councillor Jasbir Anand, cabinet member for housing, said: “We make every effort to ensure residents in the borough have decent living standards and are well protected from greedy slum landlords. Mr Kahlon showed scant regard for his licence conditions and endangered the lives of his tenants in order to make as much money as he could. I have nothing but contempt for his actions and welcome this substantial fine that has been imposed on him, which I hope will be a considerable deterrent to other unscrupulous individuals.”
The court made a collection order for the fines, and ordered Mr Kahlon to pay £25,000 by 27 November and the balance within three months, by 26 February.