Landlord from hell who blackmailed his Hatfield tenants over fire safety breaches told to cough up £16,000
PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 October 2012
A LANDLORD from hell, who tried to blackmail tenants into accepting the blame for dangerous fire safety breaches, has been told to cough up nearly £16,000.
Pindi das Madan was slapped with fines and costs of £15,702 after being prosecuted by Welwyn Hatfield Council and the police.
Madan, of Greenway Gardens, Barnet, subjected tenants at a property in Bishops Rise, Hatfield, to unsafe and potentially lethal living conditions.
The fire escape was blocked, smoke detectors removed, fire doors were defective and emergency lighting did not work.
Madan also tried to blackmail his tenants to take the blame for the conditions in the house.
As well as the council’s case, which heard evidence from a former tenant and Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service, police prosecuted the 69-year-old for blackmail.
He was found guilty of the fire safety breaches at Watford Magistrates Court on Thursday (October 18), having been convicted of blackmail at St Albans Crown Court in September.
For the blackmail he was sentenced to a six month suspended prison sentence, 150 hours Community Service, and ordered to pay compensation and costs.
And for the nine breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations, he was ordered to pay a total of £15,702 in fines and costs.
He was also banned from holding a Houses of Multiple Occupation licence as he was deemed now not to be a “fit and proper person” as a result of his convictions.
Cllr Roger Trigg, executive member for housing and community, said: “This is a very satisfactory outcome for the council and follows a three-day hearing involving 11 safety breaches which, if not dealt with, could have led to serious injury and even death.”
And chief fire officer Roy Wilsher said: “Keeping fire exits and escapes routes clear and well maintained could be the difference in saving a life.”
He added: “Landlords need to take this matter seriously and ensure fire safety regulations are properly followed in all their properties.”