Big fine for landlord who crammed 28 tenants into two-storey terrace

A landlord who illegally converted a Stoke Newington house to squeeze 28 tenants into just seven unsafe rooms has been handed a £20,000 fine after enforcement action by Hackney Council.

Alfred Landau ignored basic safety standards at the overcrowded home in Allerton Road – installing no fire alarms and leaving residents with only one kitchen and bathroom between them.

Council investigators and police discovered the conditions at the terraced house, made up of two storeys and an attic, after a dawn raid in October last year.

Landau, of Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Stoke Newington, was fined £20,000 and made to pay costs and charges of £1,845 after pleading guilty to managing an unlicensed house of multiple occupation at Thames Magistrates Court last month.

Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing
The lack of any basic fire safety at this jam-packed property put lives at risk, and this maximum fine serves as a warning that we won’t stand by when we see unsafe conditions in Hackney’s homes.

We’re determined to drive up standards for private renters in Hackney, and we won’t hesitate to take enforcement action and press for the strongest penalties for landlords who flout the rules.

Those who seek to take advantage of London’s housing crisis for personal profit have no place in our borough.
Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing

Landlords wanting to let a house to multiple people across three floors or more require a license from the Council, which lays down rules about safety, space and facilities for tenants.

The mandatory installation of fire and carbon monoxide detectors by private landlords is a key part of the Council’s ’10 Steps to Better Private Renting’ campaign, which calls on the Government to make simple changes to improve standards for renters.

The government agreed to introduce the measure earlier this year along with action to stop revenge evictions, and is also proposing a national ban for rogue landlords.

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

Visit the 10 Steps to Better Private Renting page to sign the petition and for more information.