£10K fine for unlicensed Wembley house with dangerous illegal extension

21 April 2017

The owner of a property in Wembley has been fined for failing to licence the property and building an illegal extension at the rear. Brent Council prosecuted Mrs Suhasini Gurusinghe of Kingsbury, London NW9, when she failed to respond to notice that the property, Ranis 1 Hotel, 62 London Road, Wembley's licence had expired.


The licence for the property had expired and several unsuccessful attempts were made to contact Mrs Gurusinghe to establish if the property was still rented and therefore required the licence to be renewed.


Visits to the property revealed that it was rented to six individual tenants as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and had previously been used as bed and breakfast accommodation. The property was in poor condition, with a broken front door, no fire safety protection and no gas or electrical inspection certificates.


At the rear of the property was a poorly constructed and structurally unstable rear extension being used as a kitchen which had been built without planning permission. A building surveyor's inspection of the extension revealed that it could collapse at any time and was in danger of catching fire as due to risk of electricity being used from extension leads and the presence of calor gas canisters. Water for the sink and washing machine were being supplied by rubber pipework connected from inside the main property.


On 13 April Willesden Magistrates Court ruled that Mrs Gurusinghe should be fined £10,000 and ordered her to pay costs of £2,000 and a £170 victim surcharge. The offences were committed in breach of the Housing Act 2004 which requires accommodation such as Ranis 1 Hotel to be licensed.


Councillor Harbi Farah, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:


"Landlords who put the safety of tenants at risk and are only concerned about profits should be ashamed of themselves and will not be tolerated in Brent. Serious harm could have been caused to these tenants due to the condition of the property if we had not intervened.


"We will continue to prosecute landlords who have no regard for the safety of those living in their properties."