Camden Council issue property management company with £40,000 civil penalty for operating an unlicensed HMO
On 6 September 2017, Camden Council issued three civil penalty notices totalling £40,000 to a property management company that failed to license a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
Rent Rooms & Management Ltd – trading as One Room – of Kendal Road, London, NW10 1JE received the penalty after evidence of offences was collected at a flat on Haverstock Hill NW3 2BH in April 2017.
The offences included failing to license the HMO, a dangerous balcony handrail, partitioning of the kitchen to create two additional inner bedrooms that would give no protected route of escape in a fire and other safety issues.
These are the first civil penalty notices issued by Camden Council under new powers issued to local authorities in April 2017. Under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, these civil penalties can be issued as an alternative to prosecution for certain specified offences.
London Property Licensing previously reported on these new enforcement powers in April 2017 (read here).
When a civil penalty notice is issued, the recipient has 28 days to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or pay the penalty.
Councillor Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Housing at Camden Council, said:
“Our message to landlords running these shared homes is to seek advice from us and to get a licence – otherwise they could face prosecution, an unlimited fine and paying a rent refund.“
Richard Tacagni, MD, London Property Licensing commented:
“Landlords and agents need to sit up and take note. Fail to apply for a licence or let sub-standard accommodation and you risk a huge financial penalty without any requirement for the council to prosecute you. A civil penalty notice may simply arrive through your letterbox without any warning.
“As such, it is more important than ever to check your property is compliant. The London Property Licensing website maps out every licensing scheme in London and if you need a licence, we can even handle to application process for you to provide peace of mind“.
Information about property licensing requirements in Camden is available on our website here.
Information about our fixed price licence application handling service in the London area is available here.
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