Property agents who let out an unlicensed home riddled with fire hazards have been ordered to pay almost £80,000 in fines and legal costs.

Camden Council found multiple serious hazards during an inspection of a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Greville Road, Kilburn, in July 2021.

Partitioned walls in the kitchen and lounge were used to create two additional bedrooms that did not have adequate fire escape routes, fire detection or fire-resistant doors.  

Court listings show that there was only one fire detector in the property – a single battery-operated smoke detector in the entrance hallway.

The home, owned by Turnpine Ltd and let through Plaza Estates Ltd, was occupied by five tenants at the time.

The landlord for the HMO was Mohammed Ali Abbas Rasool, of Brompton Road, Chelsea, the sole director of Cadogan Assets Ltd.

All four parties - Rasool, Turnpine, Plaza Estates and Cadogan Assets - were found guilty of letting out an unlicensed HMO and failing to comply with HMO regulations at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court.

They were ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £78,630 at a sentencing on June 14.

Camden Council said that the original layout of the home has now been restored, with the partitioned walls removed.

A spokesperson for the authority added that the tenants received support from the council to end their tenancy, and that one tenant had given evidence at court in support of the prosecution.

This was not the first time that Rasool had been taken to court by Camden Council.

In January 2022 the authority secured a landlord banning order against him, and in May 2022 he was ordered to pay £95,000 in fines and costs for letting an unlicensed HMO and safety offences.  

Councillor Meric Apak, Camden cabinet member for better homes, said: “We are here to stand up for private renters in our borough and we will not hesitate to take robust action against landlords when they repeatedly fail to meet their obligations.

“Our record of securing seven banning orders against rogue landlords is more than any other Council in England.”

The total fines and costs each party were ordered to pay in the most recent prosecution are:

  • Mohammed Ali Abbas Rasool - £9,930 (Fines - £5,740, Victim surcharge - £190, Costs - £4,000)
  • Cadogan Assets Limited - £44,190 (Fines - £41,000, Victim surcharge - £190, Costs - £3,000)
  • Plaza Estates Agency Limited - £14,690 (Fines - £12,000, Victim surcharge - £190, Costs - £2,500)
  • Turnpine Limited - £9,190 - (Fines - £7,500, Victim surcharge - £190, Costs - £1,500)