Re-offending landlord hit with big fine over ‘death trap’ home

A re-offending landlord housed himself and five tenants in what has been described as a death trap property. 

The rogue Harrow landlord – already guilty of having an unlicensed House of Multiple Occupancy – has landed himself into trouble again after an inspection uncovered that he was letting a dangerous two bed property which was banned from use by the local council. 

When officers inspected the property they discovered there was a breach of the Emergency Prohibition Order.

The house was in severe disrepair with just one plug in the loft serving a network of daisy-chained extension leads powering electric fires, TVs, music system, and lamps to the eves in the loft, sectioned off as small bedrooms.

In order to get to the rooms, tenants would have had to use an illegally installed staircase with no fire protection to the loft. The loft itself had load bearing removed and was not safe for habitation. 

In addition a large window unit on the first floor was held with tape and installed the wrong way around with the handle on the outside.  

Paul Ettienne, of Harrow, made no attempt to comply with the order to make the property safe to live in, and pleaded guilty at Willesden Magistrates court. 

Ettienne had previously been prosecuted in 2019 for breaching an Emergency Prohibition Order and was found to be still flouting the law despite a large fine.

Ettienne was found guilty once again and fined £1,477, ordered to pay £2,035 towards the costs of the prosecution and victim surcharge of £148 making a total of £3,660 penalty.

He blamed the Coronavirus pandemic and the loss of income for justifying making no attempt on improvements to the property.  

Cllr Anjana Patel of Harrow council says: “Not only did Etienne ignore the conditions of the protection order, but he thought he was above the law and could get away with housing tenants in his death trap property. Thanks to the work of our officers the law caught up with him and he has a price to pay.  

“Everyone has a right to safe place they can call home but unfortunately there are a minority who put greed before the safety of their tenants. That is unacceptable and that’s why we are putting residents first and coming after those operating illegally.” 

Written by: Houseladder