Hefty penalty for landlord and managing agent found operating an unauthorised HMO in Barking and Dagenham

Wednesday, April 12th, 2023 - Barking and Dagenham Council

A landlord based in Ilford has been ordered to pay over £33,000 in costs for illegally running a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in the neighbouring borough of Barking & Dagenham.

The three-bedroom HMO was identified by Barking and Dagenham Council’s Private Sector Housing Team in December 2018 who informed the Planning Enforcement Team that planning permission had not been granted or applied for to change the property from a single dwelling.

The landlord, Mrs Husna Patel, was sent letters in January and March 2019 making her aware of the planning regulation requirements, however these were ignored, and an Enforcement Notice was served in April 2019 requiring the use of the HMO to be ceased within six months.

On the 8 January 2020, an inspection by the council’s Planning Enforcement Team discovered that the property was still being occupied by two unrelated families who were sharing kitchen and bathroom facilities.

During further investigation, it was established that the property was managed by Woodland Property Management Ltd of Cranbrook Road, Ilford.

Patel of Cavendish Gardens, Ilford and Woodland Property Management Ltd were summoned to Barkingside Magistrates Court on 31 May 2022. Mrs Patel failed to attend and a warrant not backed for bail was issued making her liable to arrest. Further investigations from the council’s Special Investigations Team resulted in Mrs Patel surrendering to custody on 21 June.

Patel and Woodland Property Management Ltd attended Barkingside Magistrates Court on 28 July 2022 where they pleaded guilty. They were sentenced at Snaresbrook County Court on Friday 17 March 2023 following completion of a financial investigation.

Husna Patel was ordered to pay a £5,000 fine, costs of £1,542.50 and £27,000 under the Proceeds of Crime legislation totalling £33,542.50.

Woodland Property Management Ltd was ordered to pay a fine of £7,500, costs of £1,542.50 and £3,000 under the Proceeds of Crime legislation, totalling £12,042.50.

Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member of Enforcement and Community Safety at Barking & Dagenham Council said:

Landlords operating in Barking and Dagenham must follow the rules we’ve set out to ensure that tenants are looked after properly.

This particular landlord and property management company failed to do this and completely ignored requests from our officers. They’re now paying the price with a huge fine.

Our free guide containing more information about property licensing and HMO planning restrictions in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham is available here.

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