A pair of private landlords who rented out a damp and mouldy house in Croydon to a family of four, including two children aged under five, have been fined £4,000 each and face a ban from letting properties in the borough.
Serious hazards were discovered by Croydon Council inspectors when they inspected the property last year in Bensham Lane, Thornton Heath, including no electricity, a kitchen scattered with rubble, partially-collapsed ceiling plasterwork, and major damp and mould.
At Croydon Magistrates’ Court yesterday, district judge Susan Holdham found Samir Sakka and Besarta Zeneli guilty for failing to comply with an improvement notice to upgrade the property issued by the council.
Croydon Council’s property licensing team will now begin the formal process of banning Sakka, agend 58, of Nelson Road in Wimbledon, and Ms Zeneli, 27, of Leigham Avenue in Streatham, from holding a property licence to let to Croydon tenants in future.
The pair will have to either sell the Bensham Lane property or appoint a managing agent to become legally responsible for the house’s repair and tenants’ living conditions.
The council, which carried out over £22,000 worth of repairs to the flat in default and billed the landlords, will also begin the process of ensuring that the unscrupulous landlords repay this bill.
Councillor Alison Butler said: “No family should live in such appalling conditions, which is why we stepped in after these private landlords failed to do the responsible thing and fix the house.”
“While most private Croydon landlords are good, this case underlines why we will continue to prosecute the minority of people who fail to protect their tenants.”