East Sheen Estates Limited were taken to court by Richmond Council after the borough’s private sector housing team exposed a number of serious failings at several properties they own in East Sheen.
Among the issues uncovered by the task force, which were described as “serious”, were lack of a working fire alarm system, water damage and a leaking roof.
When authorities contacted the landlords about these issues, which amounted to breaches of the Housing Act 2004, the owners reportedly failed to carry out the necessary repairs.
In response, Richmond Council issued two Financial Penalty Notices resulting in a £10,000 fine.
That, however, was not the end of the matter, as a council spokesperson described:
“A further inspection of one of the flats showed that the condition of the property had significantly worsened, and a Prohibition Order was issued to prevent the flat from being occupied.
“Upon reinspecting the flat in February 2020, it was revealed that it was still occupied, despite the Prohibition Order.
“As a result, the Council took the company to court last month under section 32 of the Housing Act. During the hearing, the letting agent was fined over £15,000.”
Authorities have also sought a Rent Repayment Order on one of the flats, to the tune of £6,857.18.
East Sheen Estates Limited will reportedly required to pay up within 28 days.
“Renters in Richmond upon Thames should not be subject to rogue landlords who leave their properties in dismal conditions and who fail to act when issued with Improvement Notices,” Nick Stevens, the head of regulatory services on Richmond Council, said.
“The Council’s Private Sector Housing Team works hard to investigate complaints and improve the borough’s housing standards.
“We are pleased with the outcome of this investigation and encourage residents who might be experiencing issues to contact us,” he added.