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Landlord of ‘house of horrors’ ordered to pay £3,660 for renting property banned from use

Re-offending landlord housed himself and 5 tenants in death trap property. Poor electrics, overloaded extension leads and large window unit secured with tape. Paul Ettienne ordered to pay £3,660.

A rogue Harrow landlord of an unlicensed House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) has landed himself into trouble again after an inspection uncovered that he was housing 5 tenants and himself in his dangerous 2 bed property which was banned from use by Harrow Council.  

When officers inspected the property on Headstone Drive, they discovered there was a breach of the Emergency Prohibition Order (EPO).

The house was in severe disrepair so bad that one plug in the loft was serving a network of daisy chained extension leads powering electric fires, TVs, music system, 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. 

That wasn’t all – 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 Headstone Drive, made no attempt to comply with the order to make property safe to live in. He pleaded guilty at Willesden Magistrates court on Thursday 16 June and was ordered to pay £3,660.00.

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

Cllr Anjana Patel, cabinet member for environment and community safety said:  

“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.” 

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

Ettienne was found guilty once again and fined £1,477.00, ordered to pay £2035.00 towards the costs of the prosecution and victim surcharge of £148.00 making a total of £3,660.00 penalty. 

Published: 28th June 2022