Bed-bug treatment uncovers more than just creepy crawlies! Landlord must pay £11k over illegal and dangerous HMO

Room in attic

Council exterminators aiming to kill off some bed-bugs were astounded when find nine PEOPLE at imminent risk of death – when a routine visit uncovered an illegal and dangerous HMO.

At Willesden Magistrates Court, the judge ordered the landlord to pay £11,175.00 in total.

Landlord Paul Ettienne, 46, had unlawfully crammed himself with his tenants into a structurally unsafe loft space with just one toilet and no washbasin. Around the flat, housing enforcement officers found overloaded sockets, no smoke detector and gaps in the stairway. That wasn’t all, Ettienne wanted an easy fix so used parcel tape to hold a double glazed window, and it gets gross - dirty kitchen water was draining into a bin because there were no drainage pipes. Housing enforcement officers immediately banned it from use – and after the rogue landlord ignored council warnings, the council took him to court.

Cllr Varsha Parmar, portfolio holder for environment said:

“I don’t know who is the lowest form of life here – the bed-bugs, or the man who’d put his tenants at risk of death, simply for his own profit. We’re going to stamp out this sort of behaviour – so if you know a parasite who needs a visit from us, we promise to give them the full treatment.”

Despite a prohibition order and improvement notice placed on the flat, Ettienne continued to let tenants stay there.

Blankets, board and other flammable material were used to even out the attic flat. An Improvement notice was ignored – citing risk of fire, excess cold, falls on the level and electrical hazards.

The council is looking to take further action off the back of the prosecution as Mr E still hasn’t licenced the property.Taped window

Waste drained into Attic roof