Hayes landlord loses £6,500 appeal for HMO regulation breaches

Dirty cooker top and kitchen | Hillingdon Today
Dirty cooker top and kitchen / Hillingdon Council

A Hayes landlord has lost his appeal against a £6,500 penalty notice issued by Hillingdon Council for five breaches of House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) regulations.

Pradeep Kapoor, who is the joint freeholder alongside his wife, Rita Kapoor, of a two-storey house in Hayes let as an HMO to tenants, was found by the council to have not complied with the regulations following four inspections in September 2021 and a subsequent inspection in December 2021.

The council identified a number of issues with the property including windows with no restrictors, combustible materials stored under the stairs, and the ground floor rear room door not meeting fire safety standards. Additionally, there was no fire separation between the kitchen and hall.

Council officers also discovered that the property broke the regulations because of exposed electrical wiring to the light fitting, an inoperative extractor fan in the bathroom, dirty and greasy kitchen areas, a defective front door lock, a thick accumulation of dust and cobwebs in the area around the stairs, and the landlord failing to display his details in a prominent position at the property.

The council provided Kapoor with its findings after the inspections in September, providing him with ample opportunity to remedy the issues identified. However, while he addressed some the majority remained.

Kapoor was issued with a notice of intention for the fines totalling £6,500 on 13 January 2022 and sent a final notice on 12 May 2022. Kapoor appealed the decision on 9 June 2022.

The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) found in the council’s favour on 3 April following an appeal hearing on 27 February.

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “This case serves as a reminder to landlords that they are not above the law – they have a duty to proactively manage all of their properties, routinely identifying and resolving problems as they arise.

“Kapoor flagrantly ignored a multitude of issues which not only broke the law but put the safety of his tenants at risk.

“The council is committed to creating safe and strong communities and we’ll always take action against rogue landlords who flout the rules.”