A landlord agency has been slapped with £28,000 in fines after its tenants’ lives were found to be at ‘serious risk’.

Century 21 Cameron Adams at 30 Church Lane, Leytonstone, were hit with the fines after Waltham Forest Council officers discovered multiple serious offences at an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO).

Last year, officers found potentially life-endangering issues including broken smoke detectors, drainage problems, overflowing water waste, inadequate heating, and dangerous entrance steps.

Six people were living in the unlicensed property when the visit took place.

The company manage over 100 properties in the borough; the council is undertaking a review of all its property rental licences.

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Council officers discovered overflowing water waste at the property. Photo: Waltham Forest Council

Cllr Louise Mitchell, cabinet member for housing and homelessness prevention, said: “I’m glad that Cameron Adams Ltd admitted their guilt and did not even try to defend the atrocious condition of this property. We have seen some really awful sights at sub-standard rented accommodation, but the photos from this inspection are some the worst I have seen.

“It’s simply unacceptable for a landlord – let alone a supposedly professional agency – to allow their properties to be rented in this state. These tenants were living in conditions that could well have posed a serious risk to their lives.”

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The property's smoke alarm was broken. Photo: Waltham Forest Council

The company pled guilty to seven charges at Thames Magistrates Court on Friday, January 24, 2020.

The news follows the borough’s approved bid to extend its landlord licensing scheme to 2025.

The scheme requires landlords to register for a licence in order to rent a property and meet certain standards to keep their tenants safe and secure or face large fines.

Cllr Mitchell added: “I’m proud to lead the way in Waltham Forest calling for more protection for tenants from the minority of unscrupulous landlords who do not care for the safety or wellbeing of their tenants. The approval of our licensing scheme application means we have another tool at our disposal to take action against these rogue landlords who give the whole sector a bad name.

“We have shown we are serious about tenants’ rights many times. We have secured convictions against landlords who falsified vital gas safety certificates and who allowed gambling dens to operate from their properties, and we have even helped tenants have their rent repaid after their landlord changed their locks and took their possessions”