Two tenants in Kingsbury, north-west London, have been handed fines totalling £4,500 after being convicted of obstructing a Brent Council housing enforcement officer from doing his job and holding him against his will.
Willesden Magistrates Court were told that Riken and Raj Patel became extremely hostile towards the officer while he was helping resolve a dispute between them and their landlady at the property they rented on Brampton Avenue, NW9.
It transpired that Riken Patel, who was the legal tenant, sublet the property to Raj Patel and six other people without the landlord’s consent.
What’s more, the devious tenant contacted Brent Council to falsely claim that the landlady had deliberately allowed the house to fall into disrepair, after the boiler and a window frame needed fixing. But the court heard that the landlady actually tried to make the necessary repairs but had been turned away by the tenants.
To mediate, a Brent officer went to the property with the landlady and a gas engineer to install a new boiler. But when the officer questioned the people living in the property about the legitimacy of their tenancy, Riken and Raj Patel became aggressive, and subsequently refused to allow the officer to leave for 40 minutes. He was only eventually able to leave the house when police escorted him out following a 999 call.
Both Riken and Raj Patel were convicted of obstruction. Riken Patel was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,318 – a total of £3,318. Raj Patel was fined £2,500.