Two West London landlords who collected rent from more than 30 tenants in five sub-standard houses all on the same street have been fined more than £36,000.
Palminder Singh Sanghera and Nirmal Kaur hoped to gain as much in rent as possible from the homes in Ellerdine Road, Hounslow, but had allowed them to fall well below acceptable standards.
The couple, who live in Walton-on-Thames in Surrey, were fined £36,340 after they pleaded guilty to 30 offences at Feltham Magistrates’ Court on 26 October.
Responding to a tip-off, Hounslow Council’s housing enforcement team visited the properties and carried out an inspection of the homes in 2014.
They unearthed dumped rubbish, fire alarms that were not working, an obstructed fire escape, and poor kitchen conditions.
There were 30 people found to be living in the properties but the couple had not obtained HMO licences.
In sentencing, the magistrates took into consideration the couple’s previous good character, the mitigation from their barrister, and the steps they had taken to remedy the breaches and to licence the HMOs.
Councillor Steve Curran, leader of Hounslow Council, said: “The council is determined to crackdown on rogue landlords. These fines are a warning to landlords of the consequences of ignoring their legal obligations relating to HMOs. There is no justification for putting people's lives at risk and making them live in poor conditions. That’s why raising the standards of private-rented housing and bringing rogue landlords to account is a priority for this council."