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DODGY DEALER: Landlord from Gerrards Cross allowed tenants to live in ‘appalling’ conditions

 Published on: 14th September 2023   |   By: Annabel Stock   |   Category: Uncategorized

A landlord from Gerrards Cross who was previously awarded an OBE has been fined £300,000 for allowing his tenants to live in terrible conditions.

Judges at Isleworth Crown Court served Nirpaul Riat with one of the largest fines ever recorded by Hounslow Council. For the last two decades, he had managed illegally converted houses which suffered from damp and mould.

He also illegally converted a property into eight flats and rented an outbuilding in Osterley.

Riat was brought to the council’s attention after a resident complained about his poor-quality housing.

Riat was taken to court after being issued an Emergency Prohibition Order by Hounslow Council due to poor conditions in 22 of his properties, and judges fined him for the catalogue of issues.

The terrible conditions included damp, leaks, mould, squalid rooms with limited natural light, a lack of hot water, sporadic heating, and overcrowding to maximise revenue.

Riat had previously been fined £20,000 by Hounslow Council in 2009 after refusing to reinstate the property in Hounslow Road as a single house and stop renting out the static caravan as a separate home.

Despite this, he was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to charity and Punjabi people in the UK.

Riat faces being sent to prison if he does not pay the fine.

Councillor Tom Bruce, Hounslow Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and development, said: “This landlord treated his tenants as nothing more than a commodity – exploiting residents in need of housing for his own financial gain.

“While these residents were left to languish in these appalling conditions, Nirpaul grew rich on their expense.

“I hope today’s verdict sends a message that we do not – under any circumstances – tolerate rogue landlords in Hounslow and will use the full force of the law to prosecute them.”

When contacted for comment, Hounslow Council stated that the decision to revoke an Honours Medal is not made by councils but by a government Forfeiture Committee.

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