Massive fine for unlicensed ‘rent to rent’ property in Leytonstone

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 - Waltham Forest Council

The landlords of a house of multiple occupation (HMO) in Leytonstone have been hit with heavy fines that totalled £85,000 with £3,000 costs at Thames Magistrates Court.

The Court heard that the rat-infested house on Napier Road E11 was occupied by 15 people and that the poorly-managed property was both a risk to the occupiers and a persistent eyesore and nuisance to local residents.

Waltham Forest landlord prosecution 2017

Through a so-called ‘rent to rent’ arrangement, the property had been handed to an agent, Asjit Singh Teja, Director of J Amber Properties Ltd for a sum of £2,000 per month, who had in turn given the property to Mamataj Konica for the sum of £3,000 per month.

Mamataj Konica then let out the property as bedsits for an estimated rental income of more than £4,000 per month.

Mr Teja and Ms Konica failed to license the property under Waltham Forest Council’s property licensing scheme and were fined £75,000 and £10,000 respectively for their role in the failure to license the property. Costs of more than £3,000 were also awarded to the Council.

Cllr Khevyn Limbajee, the Cabinet Member for Housing at Waltham Forest Council, said:

This is one of the worst cases of landlords disregarding the law and using people to make money that I have seen. This kind of thing can’t be tolerated.

The reason we have a licencing scheme is to protect people from unscrupulous landlords. In addition to this, because of the terrible state of the home, and the number of occupants inside, it also created additional problems for other residents through noise and rubbish. I am really pleased that the court saw fit to hand down such large fines.

In sentencing the pair, the Judge commented:

These are serious matters. One of the principles of sentencing is that criminals, and that is what both of you are, should not enrich themselves from the proceeds of their crime. We cannot let people who are obtaining money from vulnerable people get away with it, because they say it is someone else’s fault. I believe that you are both manipulative, deceptive and have tried to cast away the blame.

More information about property licensing requirements in Waltham Forest is available here.

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