London Landlord Charged Family £700 p/m to live in a "House of Horrors"

A London landlord charged a family £700 per month to live in a house that was not fit for purpose. The condition of the property was described as “slum-like” and a “house of horrors”.

Problems within the house include missing ceilings that had the potential to collapse, a bath in the kitchen which was the families only facility to wash their pots, because of this there wasn’t room in the kitchen to house the  fridge freezer so it was  kept in the garden.  There was also exceptionally dangerous exposed electrical wiring in most rooms of the house.

Due to the property being part of the Newham Council licensing scheme, officers were able to inspect the house. They were surprised to see people actually living inside it because it had been cleared out in order to be refurbished.

The licensing scheme was developed to ensure that all homes which are rented privately are well managed and tenants live in housing appropriate to their needs. Ironically, one of the specific aims is to “ensure tenants health, safety and welfare are safeguarded.”

The council want to prosecute this landlord for his poor management of the property. They issued a prohibition notice last month which bans anyone from living in the house until it is made safe. Failure to comply will result in an unlimited fine.

Richard Tomlinson of Lawson West’s Property Litigation Team comments, “Our job is to assist landlords to stay on the right side of the law - we number some of the largest residential landlords in the region amongst our clients. They rely on Lawson West because we make sure they are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities”.       

If you are a private landlord and have any queries concerning obligations to your tenants please contact a member of our team on 0116 2121000 and ask to speak to Richard Tomlinson.

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