A portfolio of nearly 30 privately rented properties have been forcibly taken over by a London borough in what is thought to be the largest action of its kind in the UK.
The London Borough of Waltham Forest in has served interim management orders on the properties, which are owned by a landlord family firm, after the council found them not to be “fit and proper persons to act as licence holders or manage properties”.
The decision came after it was found that Tariq and Nasim Hussain had supplied false information about gas supplies to four properties within their portfolio and had induced a Gas Safety engineer to falsify certificates for the same properties.
After being convicted for both offences last year and being fined a total of £41,000 plus costs of £1,900, the council decided their attitude to tenant safety was so lax that all of their properties would be taken over by the council.
“These landlords showed a shocking lack of care and concern. We will always press for the maximum possible penalties when people’s lives are needlessly endangered by unscrupulous, lazy landlords,” says Cllr Clare Coghill, Leader of the Council (left).
Waltham Forest also found that although the couple were ‘penny pinching’ when managing their properties, they had splashed out £80,000 on a personalised number plate for their car.
Seven of the family’s rental properties have now been taken over by the council while repairs and improvements are made to them using rent collected from the tenants, and a more suitable managing agent appointed. The remaining 20 properties will be taken over in two weeks’ time.