Holloway HMO landlord and agent slapped with £21,000 bill for having no licence
- Credit: Archant
A private landlord and an agent have been found guilty of managing a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without a licence and billed £22,000.
Islington Council brought the prosecution after environmental health officers inspected a property in Penderyn Way, Holloway, following complaints from a tenant.
They found up to eight unrelated people sharing a kitchen and bathroom. Any HMO with five or more tenants needs a licence.
There were also multiple broken items including a bedroom window with no glass, no fire detection system or fire blanket and a cracked plug socket.
Landlord Kuppusami Selvarajan of Ilford, was found guilty at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court and slapped with an £8,500 fine.
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Managing agent S3A Management pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a fine of £7,650.
The defendants were also ordered to pay the council’s legal costs of £5,773.60, bringing the total fines and costs to £21,923.60.
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The tenants are also entitled to apply for a repayment order to claim back rent.
District judge Rimmer described 28 Penderyn Way as a property in a “poor state of repair”.
Regarding the lack of HMO licence, he said the landlord “enjoyed ongoing receipt of likely inflated rent, all the while making no checks as to whether a property which they have clearly anticipated may be let as an HMO”.
Housing chief Cllr Diarmaid Ward said: “It’s unacceptable for landlords to rake in rent from vulnerable people living in rundown, unsafe spaces and where we find unacceptable conditions we will act to protect tenants.”
HMO licensing is used to tackle poor management of properties and drive up standards of accommodation in the private sector. HMOs in Holloway Road and Caledonian Road need a licence if they are occupied by three or more people, as opposed to five.