A buy-to-let landlord in Sutton has been fined £2,694 and ordered to pay £1,994 in costs and a victim surcharge of £170 after pleading guilty to fire safety breaches and a failure to apply for an HMO licence.
The HMO flat, located above commercial premises on Upper Green East, CR4, was found to have a series of fire safety regulation breaches.
Officers from the council’s housing enforcement department investigated the property in March, and found that there were seven unrelated tenants living there, meaning it should have been licensed as an HMO.
Upon further inspection, the flat, owned by Ronak Patel, was found to have no fire alarms or fire protected exits, while shared areas were ‘badly maintained’, meaning both fire safety and HMO regulations were breached.
Hannah Doody, Merton Council’s director of community and housing, said: “This is another great result and I hope our success in securing prosecutions, leading to hefty fines will serve as warning to any rogue landlords who breach the regulations for HMOs in Merton. We take extremely seriously the failure of landlords to licence a HMO, and will not hesitate to take stringent action, as the licensing regulations are there to protect the lives of residents.
“We will not tolerate rogue landlords who seek to profiteer from cramming as many tenants as possible into properties with inadequate or dangerous conditions. We are on a mission to drive up standards for private accommodation across Merton and so we will be continuing to crack down heavily on landlords who flout the laws.
“We have many good landlords in Merton who are providing decent living conditions for renters. But we are urging anyone who suspects a landlord of not adhering to the rules to report this to us and will investigate.”