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Landlord hit with £25k fine for safety failings

The owner of a house in Colindale, north London, let out to tenants in a dangerous condition has been fined £25,000.

Habib Khan, of Charlton Road, Harlesden, is the latest in a string of landlords to be taken to court by Barnet Council which has brought prosecutions totalling more than £220,000 in court costs and fines this year alone, as part of wider efforts to clampdown on unlicensed landlords.

Khan, who received around £20,000 a year in rent from the property on Varley Parade in Colindale, was convicted in his absence at Willesden Magistrates Court for putting the lives of the tenants at risk because the property was so unsafe.

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The council’s environmental health officers said that the five bedroom house did not have smoke detectors or flame-resistant doors nor did it have a gas safety certificate or electrical test certificate.

A council spokesman said: “The consequences of a fire could have been catastrophic. Mr Khan’s only response to the investigation was to evict two tenants so the house was no longer covered by licensing arrangements.”

Last month, Willesden magistrates handed out fines totalling £120,000 to the owners of a property comprising ten studio flats in Golders Green after it was found the lives of up to 20 tenants were at risk.

The property, on Golders Green Road, had been under a prohibition notice preventing it from being let - but tenants were still being charged around £1,150 per calendar month.

A council spokesman said: “Following a complaint from a tenant of one of the dwellings, our environmental health team found the accommodation to be in a very poor condition and badly managed.

“They found that very serious harm would have been likely if a fire had started at the property – with 10 to 20 people potentially losing their lives.

“The magistrates said the tenants’ financial situation had left them vulnerable.”

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