Dollis Hill landlord hit with civil penalty turns his property around to achieve compliance

Sunday, December 15th, 2019 - Brent Council

In a positive pre-Christmas news story, a private landlord issued with a £15,000 civil penalty for licensing breaches has turned his rental business around to comply with the law.

Ansar Choudhry, of High Wycombe, was fined after Brent Council’s enforcement team raided his converted, three-bedroom semi-detached house in the Dollis Hill area in June this year. The officers found 16 tenants crammed inside, including three people living in the shed in the back garden.

Brent Council private landlord 2019

But since he was issued with a civil penalty notice for failing to licence his HMO, Mr Choudhry has been working with the council to comply with licensing regulations.

There were no fire extinguishers or fire blankets in the property before, but now I have put these in” Mr Choudhry explained. “Every tenant has a tenancy agreement and the gas, electric and emergency certificates are on display in the hall. I have put in a fire alarm system and fire doors. There are also two ovens, two kitchen sinks and two hobs between ten tenants, and a new carpet on the stairs.

The three people who were living in the shed in the back garden have moved on into new homes. Mr Choudhry said that he would no longer be housing tenants in his shed.

I feel more relaxed now” Mr Choudhry explained. “I am doing everything I can for the safety of the tenants. Brent Council is protecting us as landlords through the licensing laws. I want to cooperate with the council and do whatever is necessary because that will benefit me too.

Spencer Randolph, Head of Private Housing Services at Brent Council said:

It’s good to see that as a consequence of the action taken by my enforcement officers, Mr Choudhry has now improved his property and that his tenants are living in a safer home.

A HMO licence helps to protect tenants’ safety and standard of living in the private rented sector and I would urge all landlords who are letting out shared accommodation to apply for a licence now.

The licence sets out clear standards and conditions in order to make sure that properties are properly managed and are safe for the occupants. We know there are HMOs out there that are still not licensed. Our message to landlords is: don’t wait until it’s too late. Apply online for a licence today or risk getting a hefty fine, and even a criminal record.

A free guide containing more detailed information about property licensing in the London Borough of Brent is available here.

For all the latest news and events, you can sign up for the free London Property Licensing newsletter here.