Firm which lied about belonging to NALS and SAFEagent exposed in £109,000 case

A property firm which falsely claimed to belong to the National Approved Letting Scheme and was also using a SAFEagent logo was exposed in a Trading Standards investigation.

The probe, by Southwark Trading Standards, was into the management of rental flats above a former pub, the Thomas A Beckett on London’s Old Kent Road.

There had already been a long history of council intervention at the property with two previous convictions of the same defendants, in October 2013 and September 2015, linked to breaches of housing laws.

Southwark Council visited the HMO property, with three floors of accommodation, on August 31, 2016.

Investigators found that the fire alarm system did not work and flats were found to be unlicensed and over-occupied.

A studio flat previously identified as being unsafe for accommodation was occupied by a couple who were paying £730 a month for rooms that all fell short of Southwark Council’s minimum standards.

One was an internal bedroom with no window, natural light or ventilation.

Three brothers, Baian Abdul, 37, Kazi Abdul, 43, and Kashim Abdul, 45, of Stoke Newington, who jointly owned the building, had all pleaded guilty at hearings in 2017.

Sentencing was then postponed while Southwark investigated their proceeds of crime.

At sentencing last month, Judge Wood QC handed out fines of £37,500 and costs of £16,467; he also granted a confiscation order of £55,372 linked to the proceeds of their crime.

Kazi Abdul is also a director of KKB Financial Services, trading as KKB Property & Financial Services, which let flats and rooms in the building and which had falsely claimed to be a member of NALS and of the SAFEagent scheme.

Both the company and Kazi Abdul pleaded guilty to these offences, contrary to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

Kazi Abdul had also pleaded guilty to two charges of  contravening the requirements of professional diligence by entering into tenancy agreements knowing that two of the flats were subject to prohibition orders.

The Thomas A Beckett pub was where boxers Henry Cooper, Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier would spar before fights, in a gym over the bar.

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