Ban for bodged garage conversion that put tenants at risk

A damp Clapton garage with completely inadequate security, heating, and insulation which was being let as a flat for more than £1,000 per month has been closed down by Hackney Council.

The brick building, in Brooke Road, flouted basic safety and planning rules – with one ‘wall’ in fact comprising wooden shutters previously used for car access.

When Council officers visited the building – which had no planning permission and didn’t meet building regulations – they found two people living in the dangerous conditions.

The garage had been marketed as a one-room studio flat, despite having damp problems, no secure front door, a concrete floor and inadequate heating and kitchen facilities.

After supporting the tenants to find alternative accommodation, officers issued a prohibition order to stop it being used as a flat – with the threat of criminal prosecution and an unlimited fine for the landlord if ignored.

Cllr Philip Glanville, Deputy Mayor
Those who seek to exploit the demand for housing in Hackney to rake in cash through illegal conversions like this should not doubt that we will follow through on our warnings of enforcement action.

This landlord had barely made any attempt to meet even the basic standards we expect, and we’ll continue to monitor this property to ensure it can’t be used again in this state.

We will prosecute those who break the law when necessary and always press for the strongest penalties.
Cllr Philip Glanville, Deputy Mayor

Hackney Council is asking residents to sign a petition calling on the Government to modernise legislation to protect private tenants and make the system fairer, safer and cheaper for everyone.

Proposals include improving mandatory safety and quality standards, a public register of rogue landlords and the introduction of inflation-capped rents with longer tenancies.

Sign the ’10 Steps to Better Private Renting’ petition and find out more on the campaign page.