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Massive £67,000 fine for letting out dirty and overcrowded property

A landlord who let out dark, damp and overcrowded rooms has been hit with a huge £67,000 fine.

Rogue landlord Liakath Ali, 40, of Bedford was ordered to pay a confiscation order of £36,936 relating to offences in a property in Stepney, in London’s Tower Hamlets. 

The order was based on the local council’s financial investigation report that highlighted Ali’s rental income, and his equity in the four properties he owned.


As well as the confiscation order, he was ordered to pay £12,500 in fines and £17,500 in costs on top of a victim surcharge of £120. The total was £67,056.

The fines and costs related to a lack of fire alarms and fire doors, a rat infestation, widespread mould, overcrowding and an illegally partitioned room. One room had inadequate light, and two other rooms contained two people, when they were only each suitable for one occupant.

The confiscated amount will be shared between the Courts Service, the national government and Tower Hamlets council to fund future housing enforcement measures.

“It is vital that landlords in the borough are committed to renting out their properties within the confines of the law. We trust them to ensure they have the necessary safety measures in place to protect their tenants. We only take enforcement action against rogue landlords as a last resort,” said a council spokesman. 

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    Yet this fine seems incredibly low:-

    A businessman has been fined £21,000 after 107 migrants were found crowded into unsuitable conditions in a building in Flintshire.
    They were discovered during a raid on the property at Deeside Lane, Sealand, in March 2015.
    John Russell Brown and his firm admitted 12 charges relating to the building's condition.
    He had been charging people over £50 a week in rent, netting about £23,000 a month, Wrexham magistrates heard.
    A court hearing in December was told there was an "imminent risk of fire" at the property which did not have any heating or hot water.
    Tenants, including an eight-year-old child, were crowded into small rooms, which included beds propped up on bricks.


    I notice that the fine was imposed by magistrates who have restrictions on the limits that they can fine.
    If it had gone to the Crown Court the penalties would have been much higher.
    That begs the question why wasn't this case referred to the higher court for sentencing ?

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    "We only take enforcement action against rogue landlords as a last resort,” said a council spokesman.

    Once the Landlord has been identified as rogue, enforcement should be much higher on the agenda.

    What I don't understand is why the confiscated amount ends up being shared between the court, the government and the council. If it all went to the council and was ring fenced to deal with housing issues (of any kind), there'd be more incentive to prosecute bad landlords, which would benefit everyone.


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