A landlord has been fined more than £70,000 for cramming 20 people in to a property only designed to home 10.
In court, Mr Balwinder Singh Khalon pleaded guilty to 18 seperate breaches of the law. The property was meant to house 10 people in seven different households. However, when council officers in Ealing came to inspect the building, they found twice that many people, including two babies and two windowless rooms were being used to home residents. Other offences included a blocked means of escape, poor maintenance of emergency lighting and unsanitary kitchens, bathrooms and common areas.
Mr Kahlon was ordered to pay 19 fines totalling £69,100. He was also ordered to pay the councils costs of £3,180 and a victim surcharge of £120, bringing the total to £72,400. He was allowed to pay the fine in two installments.
Councils throughout England recognise the complexity often involved for landlords in renting out their properties, and are usually happy to work with them to improve services and ensure they comply with the law. However, due to a small minority of rogue landlords, they are increasingly cracking down where they find deliberate or repeat infractions.
Councillor Jasbir Anand, the cabinet member for housing commented on the seriousness of the offences, she said: "We make every effort to ensure residents in the borough have decent living standards and are well protected from greedy slum landlords. Mr Kahlon showed scant regard for his licence conditions and endangered the lives of his tenants in order to make as much money as he could. I have nothing but comtempt for his actions and welcome this substantial fine that has been imposed on him, which I hope will be a considerable deterrent to other unscrupulous individuals."