Landlord of unlicensed HMO in Camden to repay over £70,000 in housing benefit

Friday, March 3rd, 2017 - Camden Council

The management company of a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Minster Road, Fortune Green, has been hit with a hefty fine for operating the property without a licence.

MNY Property Management Ltd was fined £3,390 for offences under the Housing Act on Monday 27 February 2017 at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court.

Council officers visited the property in January 2016 and found a family of five living in severely overcrowded conditions and mould growth in the flat. Camden Council told MNY Property Management Ltd to obtain a HMO licence. MNY failed to do this in a reasonable time.

Since 8 December 2015, it has been a legal requirement for all HMOs in Camden to be licensed – including all houses and flats shared by three or more people who are not all related, even if they occupy a property on a single tenancy.

The home owner has also agreed to repay £71,855 to Camden Council to cover the cost of housing benefits paid to occupiers of the HMO for the period it was unlicensed. Rent Repayment Orders can be used to require the landlords of licensable but unlicensed property to repay up to 12 months rent to the council or to the tenants.

Councillor Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Housing at Camden Council, said:

Anyone who owns or manages an HMO – that’s a home occupied by three or more people who form more than one household – needs to have a licence.

All landlords should keep their property to a safe and liveable standard – not only to maintain public confidence in landlords, but so that tenants paying high rents are not exploited. Camden Council will catch up with landlords who ignore this advice.

MNY Property Management Ltd are the second landlord to be prosecuted for operating without obtaining a licence under the additional HMO scheme that started in Camden in December 2015. All landlords of shared property and converted blocks of flats that qualify as houses in multiple occupation should license their property with the Council.

Further information on HMO licensing in Camden can be found at Landlords can also contact London Property Licensing (contact here) for help and support to get your property licensed.

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