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HORROR HOUSE: Landlord couple fined £27k over Northwood property declared ‘not fit for human habitation’

 Published on: 7th April 2022   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

A pair of rogue landlords have been ordered to pay a fine of around £27,000 after a Northwood property of theirs failed to meet basic safety requirements.

Robin and Susan Kirstein, of Berkeley Drive in Greenford, received their sentence on Friday, March 4 at Uxbridge Magistrates Court, having admitted to contravening both the Housing and Building Acts.

Upon sentencing, judge described the pair as “in way over their heads”, also stating: “You had a responsibility not to leave tenants in the property that wasn’t fit for human habitation.”

The property, number 6A of the Broadway in Northwood, first came to the council’s attention following an inspection in July 2020, where a leaking soil pipe caused raw sewage to spill into the front of the home. This in turn led to a maggot and fly infestation.

The inspection revealed the four-storey building, divided into three flats and shop, areas of the building with no lighting or heating, mould, stairs with no handrails, doors with no handles, unopenable windows and broken smoke alarms.

Follow-up inspections in November 2020 and March 2021 revealed the couple had failed to comply with council improvement orders, and the situation may have even got worse. The pair also refused to provide property and safety details and documents when asked.

In the hearing, the pair were ordered to pay a penalty of £17,000 as well as Hillingdon Council’s prosecution costs of over £10,000.

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration, said: “This couple showed scant regard for the welfare of tenants who should quite rightly have an expectation of living somewhere that meets decent standards.

“This property not only fell well below that mark but was riddled with hazards and dangers that could have proved disastrous.

“This sentencing serves as a warning to any rogue landlords that we’ll take tough measures to ensure homes in our borough are safe and suitable for the tenants.”

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