A pair of private landlords - one from Wimbledon and another from Streatham - who rented out a damp and mouldy Croydon house to a family of four have been fined £4,000 each and face a ban from letting properties in the borough.

Croydon Council inspectors found serious hazards when they visited the house last year in Bensham Lane, Thornton Heath, including no electricity, a kitchen strewn with rubble, partially-collapsed ceiling plasterwork, and significant damp and mould.

At Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, September 5, District Judge Susan Holdham found Samir Sakka and Besarta Zeneli guilty for failing to obey an improvement notice to upgrade the property issued by council.

The judge ordered Mr Sakka and Ms Zeneli to each pay a total of £4,096.20 in fines, court costs and victim surcharge within 28 working days.

“No family should live in such appalling conditions, which is why we stepped in after these private landlords failed to do the responsible thing and fix the house," Councillor Alison Butler said.

“While most private Croydon landlords are good, this case underlines why we will continue to prosecute the minority of people who fail to protect their tenants.”

Croydon Council’s property licensing team will now begin the formal process of banning Mr Sakka, aged 58, of Nelson Road in Wimbledon, and Ms Zeneli, aged 27, of Leigham Avenue in Streatham, from holding a property licence to let to Croydon tenants in future. They will have to either sell the Bensham Lane property or appoint a managing agent to become legally responsible for the house’s repair and tenants’ living conditions. The council, which carried out over £22,000 worth of repairs to the flat in default and billed the landlords, will also begin the process of ensuring that Mr Sakka and Ms Zeneli repay this bill.

Council officers first visited the property on September 28, 2016 after housing enforcement colleagues received a complaint about the landlord from the tenants, a family of four that included two girls aged under five.

Officers then formally ordered the landlords to repair the house and then accompany inspectors on a return visit. When officers returned to view the property, the landlords did not attend and the repairs had not been carried out.

The pair claimed to the council that their workmen had been denied access to the property.