Islington HMO landlord fined £14,000 for unlicensed flats
Action from Islington Council has left a landlord with a bill of over £14,000 for letting unlicensed flats in north London.
Appearing at Highbury Magistrates Court, Landhouse Ltd pleaded guilty to operating a licensable house in multiple occupation (HMO) without a licence in Holloway Road.
The company was fined £12,700, and ordered to pay Islington Council’s legal costs of £1,320 as well as £120 victim surcharge.
An inspection by the council’s Environmental Health Officers found the property to be overcrowded and poorly managed with evident fire hazards.
Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development, Cllr Diarmaid Ward, said:
“With more and more people renting privately, we’re committed to helping residents make sure they have decent homes to live in.“
“The majority of landlords act entirely within the law, but we will pursue and take action against those who don’t.
“I’d urge any landlord or tenant with concerns about property licensing to confidentially contact the council for advice and support.”
Since 1 September 2015, Islington Council has extended HMO licensing requirements to cover all HMOs on Holloway Road and Caledonian Road – including all rented properties occupied by three or more people in more than one household and certain converted properties.
This was introduced after council research showed there to be poor management of many rented properties in both streets.
So called ‘section 257 HMOs’ fall within Islington Council’s additional licensing scheme. These are properties that have been converted into flats, less than two thirds of the flats are owner occupied and the conversion did not comply with the relevant building regulations. So a whole building may need to be licensed as a HMO, even if the flats are all self-contained and there are no shared kithen or bathroom facilities.
Landlords can also obtain independent impartial advice by visiting www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/islington.