The criminal landlords of Forest Gate named and shamed

Sunday, 7 January 2018


The Mayor of London and London Assembly have recently published a list of private sector housing landlords and agents convicted of crimes related to the management of properties they own and rent, and their failure to comply with legislation aimed at protecting tenants' rights (see here).

This website has often been critical of Newham Council about the way it behaves over a number of matters locally. But in this instance, it emerges with considerable credit in being at the forefront of prosecuting rogue landlords.

Using the Mayor of London's database, we give details of 17 Forest Gate properties, whose owners/agents have been prosecuted 45 times for offences related to the management of those properties over the last year, bringing a total yield of a little under £135,000.

Newham has, in total, achieved 128 successful prosecutions against rogue landlords and their agents over the last twelve months - almost a third of the total of only 296 achieved London-wide. The council is to be congratulated for its vigilance. The great pity is that other councils are not as pro-active, in defence of private sector tenants and that the fines available to the courts are not stiffer.

The reality for many rogue landlords, however, is that the fines they receive are little more than minor financial inconveniences to their business and amount, often, to little more than a month's rent from the properties that they benefit from mismanaging. There is little real incentive- via large fines and company suspensions -  for bad landlords to change their anti-social practices.

Below, we list the Forest Gate properties at the centre of the criminal offences committed by the landlords/agents  and give details of the successful prosecutions and those convicted of the offences.  Some patterns emerge in this analysis and details are given at the end of the blog.

The properties are listed in alphabetical order of street names.

124 Capel Road

An interesting property! Its owners/controllers/agents received a total of five fines on 17 March 2017 in relation to its management. A company called Rentify, of Long Lane, London EC1 was fined £1,500 for failing to obtain a Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence, as required by Newham Council, and was fined a further £250 for each of two offences for failing to provide the council with documentation related to the property, as required.

124 Capel Road
A second firm of estate agents, Life Work Study, London was also fined £1,000 for failing to apply for an HMO licence. That company's sole director, Omar Patel was fined £750 on that day for the same offence.

Life Work Study throws an interesting light on a complex web of local property ownership/management arrangements, which are considered towards the end of this article. It was previously (2013-2015) known as YLR (Whitechapel), see below for similar sounding named companies, and trades out of the offices of another estate agent appearing in this article, Filton's, at 190 High Street Stratford.

Any would-be tenant considering using Filton's is advised to search its Facebook presence. Its services are rated by 10 people - seven of them giving the firm only one star out of five.

51 Clova Road

Mohammed Jawad Hussain of West Ham Lane Stratford was convicted of three offences in relation to this property on 24 January 2017. They were: failure to carry out improvements, as instructed by the council (fined £2,000); failure to provide documentation in relation to the property when requested to do so by the council (fined £1,000) and failure to comply with licence conditions, to ensure that the property is in a safe and good condition (fined £1,000).

51 Clova Road
51b Clova Road

The same landlord was also convicted of three similar offences relating to this property, on the ground floor and at the rear of number 51.  The fines were £1,800, £1,000 and £1,000, respectively.

4 Dunbar Road

A company called YLR Ltd of High Street Stratford ( see Life Work Study - above) was fined £1,500 on 17 March 2017 for failure to apply for an HMO licence for this property.


4 Dunbar Road
Barclay Estates, letting agents of 86 Upton Lane (see photo) was fined on two accounts of offences of failing to provide Newham Council with details relating to this property, as required by law,  on the same day. They were fined £500 for each offence.

Barclay Estates, Katherine Road
Fiaz Mahud Khan also of Upton Lane was also fined £500 on each of two counts of failing to provide Newham Council details of the property, as required, on the same day.

SM Property, 468 Katherine Road

This estate agent was fined £4,000 on 13 September 2017 for a failure to display its letting fees appropriately, within its premises, in a separate piece of consumer protection legislation.

SM Property, Katherine Road
36 Osborne Road

YLR Ltd (see 4 Dunbar Road, above) , but this time operating via Filton's of 190 High Street Stratford, was fined £1,500 for failure to apply for an HMO licence relation to this property on 17 March 2017.

36 Osborne Road
Filton's is an estate agent, which is currently advertising 20 properties on its website - the vast majority in Newham.  The company clearly has a cavalier attitude to its business and social responsibilities. To quote its website:

We are an estate and property management group run by some of the most disruptive minds in the industry ... We .. play hard, without the bureaucracy (ed: like abiding by Housing legislation, apparently). ... We don't do uppity suits and fake smiles. That's why we're turning the industry upside down ... And we're pushing boundaries for clients with new revenue streams, managed short lets and award winning marketing .

Filton's of High Street, Stratford - cavalier
The company's intolerance of the niceties of the law got them into further trouble on 7 June 2017, when they were fined £5,000 for a failure to display accurately display their letting fees on their premises, as required by consumer protection law.

117 Osborne Road

YLR Ltd, operating via Filton's of 190 High Street Stratford, was given two fines in relation to this property on 17 March 2017, one of £1,500 for failure to apply for an HMO licence, and one of £800 for failure to ensure that the property is in a safe and good condition (for company details, see 4 Dunbar Road, above).

117 Osborne Road
168 Osborne Road

This innocuous looking property on the Woodgrange estate has a complex ownership/management arrangement,  whose principals were subject to four, separate, prosecutions last year. Azher Iqbal of near-by Windsor Road was fined £3,250 on 11 May 2017 for a failure to comply with a property licence, to ensure that the property is kept in a safe and good condition. He was also fined £1,100 on the same day for a failure to apply for a licence to run the property as an HMO.

168 Osborne Road
A company called City Lord Ltd, of 25 Burdett Road, Tower Hamlets was fined £1,000 for a failure to register the property as an HMO on the same day, and Sidra Butt, also of Burdett Road, was fined £500 that day on an identical charge.


City Lord Real Estate, Burdett Road
McCreadie Hotel, 357-363, Romford Road

This large, four triple-fronted house,  hotel is used as bed and breakfast accommodation for homeless families by boroughs outside of Newham; for a while, certainly Tower Hamlets was a major customer. It is in a poor state of repair and the landlords have clearly done well over the years from the public purse. 

McCreadie Hotel, Romford Road
It is a sign of how profitable this business has been that they have chosen not to cash in and sell the property for the £5m plus it could get on the current property market from a developer wishing to turn it into 20+ flats.
The hotel currently looks very run down and under-used, perhaps change is on the cards, accelerated by the prosecutions, below?

 Osman Ahmed Dakri of Holcombe Road, Ilford was fined £14,500 on 2 August 2017 on two charges, for a failure to comply with the rules for large private rented properties, which ensure the property is in a safe and good condition.
A company, which looks as if he controls, bearing the name, A Dakri Ltd of Romford Road (the hotel's address), was fined £38,000 for similar offences, on the same day.

5 Sandringham Road

Abdul Malik of Shrubland Road, E8 received two fines relating to this property on 2 March 2017, one of £1,000 for failing to apply for an HMO licence and one of £2,000 for failing to comply with licensing conditions.

5 Sandringham Road
32 Sandringham Road

Faizul Hoque of Osborne Road, Forest Gate, was fined £210 on 3 August 2017 for failing to comply with licence conditions in ensuring that this property was in a safe and good condition.

32 Sandringham Road
269 Sprowston Mews

Tariq Khan of Halley Road Manor Park was fined £500 on 3 November 2017, for failing to take action to control pests, after instructed to do so by the council, on the first floor flat of this property.

269 Sprowston Mews
9 Sprowston Road

An interesting property, to say the least.  Six different people and bodies have been found guilty of criminal offences about its letting status.  See at the end of this article for some analysis.

Firstly, Barclay Estates of 86 Upton Lane (see 4 Dunbar Road, above) was fined £3,000 on 17 March 2017 for a failure to apply for an HMO licence. Faiz Mahmud Khan, also of Upton Lane was fined a similar amount on the same day for the same offence, as was Maqhood Khan, also of Upton Lane. They were both also fined £500 on the same day for failing to provide details about the property to Newham Council, when asked to do so.

9 Sprowston Road
Shahid Khan of London Road E13 was fined £3,000 for failing to apply for an HMO licence on 17 March 2017, and Life Work Study of 190 High Street Stratford (see 124 Capel Road, above) was fined £1,000 for the same offence on the same day.  Making a total of £13,500 fines on the day, although probably only representing 4/5 months rent for the property.

22 Sprowston Road

Rameschander Patel of Ashburton Avenue, Ilford was fined a total of £25,000 for three offences in relation to this property on 5 January 2017. They were: a failure to comply with licence conditions to keep it safe and in good condition (£9,000), failure to comply with HMO regulations (£14,000) and a failure to provide Newham Council with documentation relating to the property, when requested to do so (£2,000).

22 Sprowston Road
29 Tenbury Close

Ahmedl Khan of 84 Romford Road was fined £1,050 on 3 August 2017 for failing to comply with a property licence condition, that this property was in a safe and good condition.
Tenbury Close
98b Upton Park Road

Mechella Fiona Jones, also of Upton Park Road was fined £1,500 on 22 June 2017 for a failure to comply with licensing conditions that ensure the property is in a safe and good condition.

98b Upton Park Road
43b Woodgrange Road

This property is one of the flats behind the now defunct NUR takeaway on Woodgrange Road.  Its owner Mohamed Sadfar of Cecil Road, E13 was fined £5,000 on 2 March 2017 for his failure to carry out improvements on the property, as instructed to do so, by the council.

43b Woodgrange Road
Inter-relationships

Some of the same companies and individuals appear on a number of occasions in the listings above, showing how a tight knit, close web of associations plays a significant part in the criminal activity listed above.

So, for example, Faiz Mahmud Khan, of Upton Lane has been fined for two offences in relation to 4 Dunbar Road and one in relation to 9 Sprowston Road. Other organisations also fined for offences in relation to these two properties include Barclay Estates (three offences) and Lifework Study (one offence), with an additional offence in relation to 124 Capel Road - see above for details.

YLR Ltd has also been successfully prosecuted for offences concerning 4 Dunbar Road - and in addition has convictions in connection with 117 Osborne (two) and 36 Osborne (one). YLR, itself, operates from the premises of Filton's in Stratford, which prides itself on its cavalier operating style and has been fined £5,000 for failure to comply with regulations relating to estate agency.

As we said at the start of this piece, Newham Council is to be commended for the way in which it has proactively prosecuted the rogue landlords and agents featured in this article. It has had to fight hard to obtain the right to defend private sector tenants via this legislation. The government wishes to reduce the powers of local authorities such as Newham, in this regard.


For the sake of the many thousands of private sector tenants in Newham and elsewhere, these powers need extending and strengthening, not weakening to the benefit of rogue landlords and agents, who are able to exploit their position at a time of chronic shortages in the housing market.

2 comments:

  1. Newham Councils targets law abiding landlords like a licensed gangster organisation. I have received numerous threats from Newham that properties I manage are considered HMOs and my property licence is to be revoked. It never leads to anything because they just send out one standard format letter to everyone whether it's applicable or not, causing genuine law abiding landlords unnecessary anxiety and wasting their time. By all means go after the culprits but spare the law abiding landlords unnecessary stress. I say the Newham Council should be held accountable where they get it wrong too.

    ReplyDelete

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