'Bed in a shed' landlord receives heavy fine

An Enfield man who housed a tenant in an outhouse unfit for habitation has been ordered to pay over £5,000 in fines and costs following a successful prosecution by Enfield Council.

Sanjiv Shah, of 11 Rowantree Road, pleaded guilty on 10 May 2018 to breaching section 32 of the Housing Act 2004 and failing to comply with a Prohibition Order issued by the Council for renting out as accommodation an outbuilding which lacked heating, insulation and an independent electrical supply.

At a sentencing hearing on 7 June 2018 at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, Shah was ordered to pay a fine of £2,600, costs of £2,441.35 and a victim surcharge of £170*.

The defendant had failed to comply with a Prohibition Order served on 19 September 2016 regarding the use of an outbuilding at a property on Nags Head Road. Inspections by Enfield Council officers highlighted hazards that left the building cold and uninhabitable. Some hazards were assessed as posing a serious threat to the health or safety of people living or visiting the accommodation. Further visits in April and September 2017 confirmed the building was still being rented, despite the Prohibition Order.

In addition, a tenant in the main house at Nags Head Road had complained that their utility bills were unusually high, suggesting the outbuilding was using their electricity supply.

Enfield Council’s Leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan, said: “Housing and making sure residents in Enfield have decent homes to live in is one of my top priorities for the Council.

“There is no excuse for renting out property that does not meet the basic housing requirements. Enfield Council will come down hard on unscrupulous landlords not meeting their responsibilities and who think they are above the law. We will continue to strive to eliminate unacceptable housing in our borough – such as the so-called beds in shed – and help safeguard those in our society who may be vulnerable and easy targets for rogue landlords.”

If you are a landlord or a tenant, find out more on housing standards and safety conditions.

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