Camden council in north London has become the first local authority to secure an anti-social behaviour injunction against a landlord in order to protect private tenants from illegal eviction and harassment.
The council secured the injunction against landlord Mohammed Ali Abbas Rasool, aged 29.
Working in partnership with the Met Police, Camden brought the case against Rasool after repeated attempts to illegally evict and harass tenants at a property he owns in Kilburn.
As a result of a disclosure request made by the council to the police, the court also heard of similar reports made against Rasool by tenants in other boroughs.
The hearing - held last month but only disclosed now - proceeded without Rasool, who did not attend court, with the judge granting the injunction in his absence.
The injunction includes an exclusion zone around the property, which will remain in force until May 14 2022; Rasool can be arrested if he enters the exclusion zone.
The council’s Rogue Landlord Taskforce is continuing to support the residents of the Kilburn property by ensuring that the order is upheld, assisting with access to their own legal advice and instructing the leaseholder to make fire safety improvements to the property.
The council’s Private Sector Housing Service is also investigating the safety and management of other properties operated by Rasool in Camden.
Camden councillor Meric Apak says: “Around a third of Camden residents rent from private landlords and they deserve to live in properly regulated, safe homes and to be treated fairly. The pandemic has further highlighted the importance of the right to a home that is safe and secure. Most landlords are decent law-abiding people however, for too long a minority have been able to let housing that is unsuitable while exploiting their tenants and woefully disregarding their wellbeing and safety.
“Our HMO licensing scheme and Rogue Landlord Taskforce are continuing to improve the standards in Camden’s private housing sector, empowering renters to take action and helping good landlords to run successful businesses.
“The legal action taken in this case was a necessary last resort. Our message to landlords and letting agents is that we are here to work with you; to provide advice and assistance first of all and to ensure you can meet your obligations.”
Camden neighbourhood policing chief inspector Richard Berns adds: “We continue to take enforcement action against a very small minority of rogue landlords abusing their position of trust.
“Our Integrated Anti-Social Behaviour Team do a fantastic job, not only ensuring vulnerable people are safeguarded but also guaranteeing those intent on taking advantage of others are sought out and brought to justice.”
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