A duo in London have been given the highest Landlord fine to date this year following an investigation by Islington council into three HMO properties.

Midlands-based landlord Arun Bajaj, 60, has been fined £100,000 with £20,000 costs while co-defendant Antonio Ferraiuolo has been £10,500 following a trial in August.

Bajaj was found guilty of 15 offences at two properties on Seven Sisters Road and a third on Grosvenor Avenue (pictured), all of which his family owned.

Ferraiuolo, 57, from North London was found guilty of 35 offences after he was found to have sub-let the Grosvenor Avenue property off Bajaj and filled it with 35 tenants. He also managed the two other properties for Bajaj.

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All the offences were breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations after tenants were found to be at risk from serious fire safety hazards, overcrowding and disrepair.  

Overcrowding

At the converted Victorian house on Grosvenor Avenue, council officers found dozens of people living in three two-bedroom flats, with up to five or six people having to sleep in the same rooms.        

The building was found to have no working fire alarm system, new room partitions that were not fire resistant, and fire risks including dangerous electrics. 

Occupants of the property did not have tenancy agreements, and paid rent in cash.

The council became aware of the property after neighbours complained about anti-social behaviour, and officers later discovered the link to the two other HMOs.

During sentencing, Judge Clark QC said Bajaj had turned a blind eye to the situation at all three properties, but that Ferraiuolo had been ‘calculatedly criminal’.

Read more about Islington Council.

Find out more about HMO tenancy agreements.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Quite controversial. But on the other hand the calculation is simple. Even if he takes 100k/10y.
    That supposed to be treated as crime commitment. What are those numbers from? Simply rip off!
    They might cry if that would be 200-300k. We have to be serious. 100k is almost nothing in this case.
    Eventually, he will move to honest work, hopefully.

  2. These bloody criminals are ruining the Private Rental sector for normal law-abiding landlords all around the country. The result – politicians and local government just keep interfering in the PRS, delivering a bucket-load of red tape bureaucracy and rules that are costing decent landlords shed-loads of time and money to comply with.
    All the while, these rotten types just keep doing what they do, without any regard for the rules………

    • It’s a bit strange how councils seem so reluctant to pursue cases against landlords, who seem to have substantial property assets.

      Rogue* landlords should be an easy money maker for councils, as you can’t hide a property. Award big penalties and confiscate the properties.

      *I would avoid the term “criminal” as there is no need for a criminal case, in order to confiscate assets. This is much easier for authorities to do under civil actions.

  3. A disproportionate fine for Bajaj when you consider that Ferraiuolo, was the one who sub let his properties and broke the laws. It seems the judge wanted to make an example out of the landlord rather than his letting agent who was the mastermind.

    • If you own a property, the buck stops with you.
      The agency works for you and it’s up to you to check that they are doing their job correctly.

      That’s why I don’t bother with agencies. By the time you’ve checked they’re doing things properly, you may as well do it yourself.

      Agencies just add more risk and more expense in my experience. I’ve seen them go bust and leave landlords out of pocket. The agencies have no assets and the directors of the agencies have limited liability exemption from legal action.

  4. We live next to a property owned by Bajaj – sadly! I have never seen a landlord acting as irresponsible and as if he was above the law as he does! He put 17 people in a 4 bed property and got away with it as he used a middle man. We went to court against him 3x as he was building on our land, building without a third party agreement and even broke and injunction against him. I am so glad that finally he has been brought to justice!

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