£50,000 fine and costs for agent who breached fire and safety conditions

A managing agent in east London has been fined more than £46,000 and ordered to pay £7000 in costs following convictions for five offences under the Housing Act 2004 including breaching fire and safety conditions.

SDV HQ Ltd in Poplar, trading as Sterling de Vere, were brought to court after tenants at a property in Shoreditch complained about conditions and because the landlord failed to respond to requests for repairs.

Previously a three-bed house, the property had been converted into a five-bed for six people. The living room had been converted into a bedroom and one room was split into two. SDV were said in court to be receiving £3250 a month in rent from the property.

Officers from the local authority who went to the flat found ‘inadequate fire precautions’.

The property had been let for nine months without a licence and the facilities were inadequate for the number of residents.

John Biggs, the mayor of Tower Hamlets, said, “This case shows our determination to prosecute even the biggest landlords who flout the rules.

“We are driving up standards in the private rented sector through our Private Renters Charter and landlord licensing scheme. I urge the government to give us the powers to extend landlord licencing across the whole borough.”

Original source
Tower Hamlets