Willesden Green landlord fined £10,000 for failing to obtain an HMO licence
A Willesden Green landlord has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £3,300 court costs after failing to license a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
In February 2018, the managing agent, Easy Let agency, had been fined £20,229 by Willesden Magistrate Court for failing to license the same overcrowded three-storey, semi-detached house in Tower Road, Willesden Green.
On 25 April 2018, property owner Mohammed Mehdi Ali of Barn Hill, Wembley, was also fined £10,000 for failure to obtain a licence, on top of court costs totalling £3,300. The legal responsibility to obtain a property licence is shared by the landlord and their agent.
The house, which had been split into flats, was not properly licensed. Easy Let and Mr Ali were found to be in breach of HMO licensing rules for cramming more than ten people into the ground and first floor rooms, including three children.
In a separate case heard at Willesden Magistrates on 26 April, landlord Stephen Citron, of Chelmsford Square, Kensal Rise, was ordered to pay £17,273 in fines and court costs for failing to comply with licensing regulations.
Mr Citron was renting out undersized bedrooms to tenants in a house in Keslake Road, Kensal Rise. The two-storey property contained five standard size bedrooms and two undersized rooms, which had been prohibited for use under the licence conditions. Mr Citron’s had ignored repeated warnings to make adjustments to his property and was breaching his licence by letting out rooms measuring 5.1 m2 and 4.8 m2 respectively.
Spencer Randolph, Head of Private Housing Services at Brent Council said:
“Ownership of a property does not give landlords the right to ignore planning and licensing laws. Mr Citron and Mr Ali were given every opportunity to comply with regulations, but instead they held the Council in contempt and ended up in court. If they had cooperated with us, they would have been spared the hefty financial blows and criminal records they were dealt in court.“
Brent Council has extended selective licensing to all privately rented properties in Dudden Hill, Kensal Green, Kilburn, Mapesbury and Queen’s Park from 1 June 2018, when the fee will be £540.
Landlords and agents who submit applications this month can pay a reduced licensing fee of £340.
On 1 June 2018, Brent HMO licence application fees will increase to £840 per property.
For more information about property licensing schemes in Brent, visit www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/brent
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