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Disregard for tenant safety costs Southwark landlords over £100,000

Three brothers responsible for the negligent and dangerous management of rented flats above the former Thomas a Beckett pub on the Old Kent Road were at the Inner London Crown Court for sentencing at the end of December 2018.

His Honour Judge Wood QC handed out fines of £37,500 and costs of £16,467.30; he also granted a confiscation order of £55,372.96 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

There was a long history of council intervention at the property and two previous convictions in 2013 and 2015 linked to breaches of housing laws that are designed to protect tenants. It was a famous former pub where Muhammed Ali could once be found sparring in a boxing ring and David Bowie playing in the rehearsal rooms.

Southwark Council visited the property on 31 August 2016; it was a large high-risk House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) with three floors of accommodation above a pub/club. The fire protection in the accommodation was found to be poorly maintained: the fire alarm system didn’t work, the fire doors were not up to standard and the fire extinguishers had not been tested or maintained. Further to this, flats within the property were found to be unlicensed and illegally over occupied.

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