London’s first rogue landlord banning order has been issued after tenants’ lives were put at risk through the letting of unsafe housing.
Camden Council successfully obtained a banning order against a rogue landlord after a hearing at the first-tier tribunal.
The court decided to ban Cesar De Sousa Melo for four years from letting any housing in England.
Melo was brought to the attention of Camden Council following a rogue landlord referral received in May last year via the Greater London Authority and Mayor of London website.
Investigations then uncovered he was involved in the letting of several unlicensed houses in multiple occupation.
A raid on a flat in Goldington Crescent, King’s Cross in June 2018 found three bedrooms with bunk beds in some rooms, fire safety issues and general disrepair, for which the landlord received two Civil Penalty Notices with fines totalling £15,000.
The court heard that tenants’ health and safety at Goldington Crescent was placed at risk through non-working fire alarms, a kitchen door broken off its hinges and the property being overcrowded as the kitchen was too small.
It was also further overcrowded with four bunk bed spaces in one room and three beds plus two bunk bed spaces in another two rooms, packed in to ensure maximum commercial advantage.
In August 2018, warrants of entry were obtained and inspections carried out on a flat on Stanhope Street, Euston and on a flat on Gray’s Inn Road, Kings Cross, after previous attempts to gain access had failed.
These inspections found further multiple breaches of the Housing Act 2004. Melo was convicted at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court earlier this year of seven ‘banning order offences’, committed on 14 September 2018 at the Stanhope Street and Gray’s Inn Road flats. He was fined £14,000.
Melo’s ban takes effect from Sunday 8th March 2020.
If the banning order is breached, penalties can include imprisonment for up to 51 weeks or a court fine - or both - or a Civil Financial Penalty of up to £30,000.
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