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Landlords fined over poor state of properties

Landlords fined over poor state of properties

A landlord who tried to improve his properties left them in such a condition that they became unsafe. His tenants had neither water nor electricity, and were left with nowhere to wash, while the removal of a window forced one to sleep on the landing. There was no working fire alarm.

The landlord has now been fined £9,000 with additional costs payable to the local council, the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Rajanikant Mehendra Patel was found guilty in his absence at Bexley Magistrates Court of nine offences that breached housing management regulations, in a prosecution brought by the council.

It concerned a two-storey flat above a shop in Woolwich, where tenants shared kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Tenants called environmental health officers after work initiated by Patel left it impossible for them to continue living there. Officers found a damaged ceiling and wiring in the stairwell, which was part of the fire escape.

The council served an emergency prohibition order, which meant the tenants had to leave because it was unsafe.

Magistrates fined him £1,000 for each of nine offences together with a victim surcharge of £120, and awarded £890 costs to the council.

Cllr Maureen O’Mara, cabinet member for environment and community safety, said: “We will take the strongest action against those landlords who disregard the safety of their tenants.”

Separately, another London landlord whose tenants lived in squalid conditions has been fined £3,000.

A property, owned by Elizabeth Johnson, was inspected by officers from Hammersmith and Fulham Council in January 2012. They found serious hazards including inadequate heating, penetrating damp, dangerous electrics and poor fire safety.

Johnson was served with a prohibition order, meaning nobody was legally allowed to live in the property until improvements had been carried out, but tenants were found still to be living there ten months later, in October last year.