Barnet landlords and their letting agents fined £26,500 for rat and cockroach infested unlicensed HMO
Two Barnet private landlords and their lettings agents will have to pay tens of thousands of pounds after allowing their tenants’ home to become infested with rats and cockroaches.
Barnet Council’s enforcement officers found that the property in Highfield Avenue, Golders Green, had not been licensed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) despite being home to nine people. They discovered a faulty fire alarm system, stairs and flooring that had been partially eaten by rats, and a severe cockroach infestation – all breaches of the HMO management regulations.
The nine people included a pregnant woman who was sharing one small room with her husband and young child. Another run-down room was home to a man who often shared it with his two children.
Councillor Richard Cornelius, Chair of the Housing and Growth Committee, Barnet Council said:
“We will not tolerate dodgy landlords in Barnet. These people have purposefully breached the law and put their tenants at risk. The COVID-19 lockdown cannot be used as an excuse not to license HMOs and ensure that properties are safe. I am delighted to see the courts supporting the council in sending out a strong message that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable“.
Owner of the property Asher Abraham was fined £20,000, with £6,113.96 in costs and a £170 victim surcharge, after proceedings at Willesden Magistrates Court on Tuesday 7 July. Co-owner Hannah Abraham was fined £1,500 with a victim surcharge of £170.
Three of the rooms were let by Easy Lettings, while the other two were let by UKPA Property Consultants, the trading name for R. B Jethwa Ltd. Easy Lettings and R. B. Jethwa Ltd were each fined £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £764.25 and a victim surcharge of £170.
A free guide containing more information about HMO licensing rules in the London Borough of Barnet is available here.
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