Exterior view of Westminster Magistrates Court

Rogue Hammersmith landlord fined £50k following H&F prosecution

An illegal landlord who kept unlicensed properties in poor conditions has been fined £50,000 in court, following a prosecution by H&F Council.

Six households, including children, lived in flats unlawfully managed by Mohammad Soltani Savoji, in King Street, Hammersmith.

In order to ensure rented homes, meet legal standards for health and safety, landlords have been required to licence properties since July 2017 and must meet a minimum set of standards – which Savoji had not done.

At Westminster Magistrates Court Savoji, 61, of Prince of Wales Road, Kentish Town, pleaded guilty to six counts of failing to licence flats with the council, contrary to Section 95 of the Housing Act 2004.

He also pleaded guilty to eight offences of failing to provide documentation.

Rear external view of the flats in King Street, Hammersmith
Flats in King Street, Hammersmith, unlawfully managed by Mohammad Soltani Savoji

The court heard that over the last two years, Savoji would have likely made in excess of £50,000 a year from renting out the unregistered properties.

In sentencing, the court reminded Savoji that tenants had an absolute right to expect their landlord to meet health and safety requirements – which he had not done.

The court also noted his lack of co-operation with the council, despite having been given several chances to rectify this.

Savoji was fined a total of £50,400 for 14 offences, and ordered to pay the council’s costs of £4,737. There was also a surcharge of £170.

Speaking after the case Cllr Lisa Homan, H&F Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “There is no place for rogue landlords in this borough. This fine from the court sends a strong message that landlords who break the rules will face the sternest penalties.

“It is unacceptable for tenants to have to live in the conditions we found in these properties, and our property licensing scheme exists to protect residents from unscrupulous landlords who might seek to break the law.”

Landlords can find out about the requirements for licencing properties, and how to do it, on our properry licensing web page.

Tenants who wish to make a complaint about a private landlord can do so on our advice for private tenants web page.

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