‘Death trap’ landlord fined after breaching protection order

A Harrow landlord has been ordered to pay more than £3,000 after being found housing himself and five tenants in an unlicenced and unsafe HMO.

Paul Ettienne had previously received an Emergency Prohibition Order from Harrow Council and ordered not to let his property until it had been made safe. But, blaming the Coronavirus pandemic and loss of income he made no attempt to make improvements .

A follow-up inspection by Harrow Council found both Ettienne and his tenants were living in a ‘death trap’.

The house was in severe disrepair and had an illegally installed staircase with no fire protection. This led to the a divided into separate bedrooms. One electric plug was used to serve a network of daisy-chained extension leads that powered electric fires, television and music systems, and lamps in these rooms.

Ettienne pleaded guilty to charges arising from the council inspection when appearing before Willesden Magistrates last month.

‘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’, said council cabinet member with responsibility for environment and community safety, Anjana Patel.

Ettienne had been prosecuted and fined in 2019 but has now been fined a second time and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge, together totalling £3,660.00.