‘Britain’s worst landlord’ loses appeal bid
A landlord’s bid to overturn her convictions for neglecting her tenants’ homes has backfired – after she ended up more than doubling the fines she has to pay.
Katia Goremsandu – dubbed Britain’s worst landlord in 2015 after a string of prosecutions for housing offences – was appealing at Wood Green Crown court against three convictions she received earlier this year.
Goremsandu owes more than £100,000 in fines and costs to the court. She is the subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order, banning her from managing any of the rental properties she owns in either Haringey or Westminster.
Goremsandu was appealing against her latest conviction in March when she was found guilty of failing to licence a house in multiple occupation, failing to carry out necessary repair work to a fire alarm system and connecting the toilet and sink waste from one of her properties direct to the surface water drains.
She was fined £10,500 in total and ordered to pay the council’s £5,448 costs.
Wood Green Crown Court dismissed her appeal against these convictions and instead increased the total fines to £24,500. The council was awarded a further £5,465 costs.
She is currently paying £1,000 a month to the courts to clear her debts.
In 2015 Goremsandu topped a Ministry of Justice list of most prosecuted landlords. Her crimes have included placing a black sticker to hide a warning light on a faulty fire alarm, leaving tenants without heating for long periods in winter and renting out a damp house for more than a year.
She has two convictions for failing to licence a House of Multiple Occupancy, under the council’s Tottenham HMO licensing scheme.
Haringey Council Cabinet Member for Environment Cllr Peray Ahmet said:
“I’m pleased that this unscrupulous landlord – who has forced dozens of Haringey residents to live in unsafe conditions – has seen her brazen attempt to overturn her convictions backfire.
“It is completely unacceptable for rogue landlords to try and shun their responsibilities and rip off their tenants with properties that are not fit to live in.
We are committed to tackling this kind of activity and this week we approved a consultation about the roll-out of a wider licensing scheme, which would allow us to take even tougher measures to protect our residents.”