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Veteran Landlord with OBE Slapped with £300,000 Fine for Housing ‘Appalling Conditions’

A landlord with a distinguished OBE title has been hit with an astounding £300,000 fine for managing properties with deplorable living conditions for over two decades. Nirpaul Riat, a long-standing landlord, faced one of the largest fines ever imposed in Hounslow as he was found to be overseeing 22 properties where vulnerable tenants were subjected to appalling living conditions.

The Isleworth Crown Court revealed that Riat had also illegally converted one of the properties into eight flats, and he rented out an outbuilding in Osterley where the conditions were described as squalid. Tenants endured issues such as damp, cramped rooms with limited natural light, lack of hot water, and irregular heating.

This was not the first time Riat faced legal consequences for his actions. In 2009, he was fined £20,000 for illegally converting a property in Hanworth into flats and for refusing to revert it to a single house or cease using a static caravan as a separate rental unit.

Now, with the recent hefty fine, Riat faces the possibility of imprisonment if he fails to comply with the penalty.

The Hounslow Council, responsible for bringing the case against the rogue landlord, expressed deep concern over the deplorable living conditions endured by tenants under Riat’s management. Councillor Tom Bruce, the cabinet member for regeneration and development, emphasized that Riat treated his tenants as mere commodities, exploiting their need for housing for his financial gain.

Bruce stated, “While these residents were left to languish in these appalling conditions, Nirapaul grew rich at their expense.” He further declared the council’s unwavering stance against rogue landlords and its commitment to use the full extent of the law to prosecute such offenders.

Interestingly, Riat had been recognized with an OBE in 2011 for his charitable work, raising nearly £50,000 for air ambulance services, Thames Valley Crime Stoppers, and Great Ormond Street Hospital. However, his recent actions as a landlord have brought serious scrutiny and legal repercussions.

The case serves as a stark reminder that regardless of past accolades, landlords must adhere to housing regulations and prioritize the well-being of their tenants. The severity of the fine highlights the importance of maintaining safe and suitable living conditions for all residents, especially those in vulnerable situations.