A property management agent has been fined £26,000 for breaches of licensing and housing management laws after ‘dangerous overcrowding’ of a property with ‘serious defects’ to the fire alarm system. Tenants’ lives were described as ‘endangered’.
The agent applied for a license with the local authority for a single-family dwelling but an investigation of the property revealed up to 16 unrelated tenants were living in the property.
The director of Ilford-based management agency Maxvik Ltd, Viktoriia Stroieva, initially appealed but agreed to pay the fines. The penalties include fees for breaches of licensing and housing management laws.
Cllr Louise Mitchell, cabinet member for housing at Waltham Forest Council, commented on the case, stating that “In this case, a property that could have provided a wonderful home for a young family was instead used to pack in 16 unrelated people, all of whom had to share woefully insufficient bathroom and kitchen facilities while the property’s fire alarm system fell into disrepair.”
She continued, explaining that “The council’s property licensing scheme protects residents from those unscrupulous landlords and letting agents who care more about profits than the safety and security of their tenants. Officers work hard carrying out proactive checks to protect people from this very type of exploitation.”
Landlords and managing agents are being urged to visit properties regularly to avoid false tenancies.