Landlady of unlicensed HMO prosecuted
- Housing and Community
The landlady of a rented house has been fined more than £6,000 for failing to have a licence or properly manage the property.
Khalida Khan, of Cleveland Gardens, Cricklewood, pleaded guilty at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on 26 April, to failing to hold a licence and properly manage the House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) which she owns in Herbert Road, West Hendon.
HMOs are properties which are lived in by more than one household and where the households share basic amenities.
In July last year West Hendon Neighbourhood Policing Team received a complaint about overcrowding and the poor condition of the house and contacted the council’s Environmental Health Team*.
The team obtained a warrant and entered the eight bedroom house accompanied by police officers.
Once inside, inspectors found the property to be home to 11 people. It had no fire alarms, no fire doors and inadequate fire separation between rooms.
When the first floor bathroom was used, water leaked into the ground floor living room.
While the property’s main kitchen was shared on the ground floor, one tenant had setup a makeshift kitchen, including a fridge, microwave and toaster, in the stairwell which would have been used as the means of escape in the event of a fire.
Khan was fined £6,600, ordered to pay the council’s costs of £4,384 and pay a victim surcharge of £120.
Since 2006, landlords of HMOs of three or more storeys with five or more tenants sharing amenities such as kitchens and bathroom are required to hold a licence.
From July 5 additional licensing for HMOs is being introduced in Barnet which includes smaller types of HMOs. More information can be found by visiting www.barnet.gov.uk/hmos
Cath Shaw, Commissioning Director for Growth and Regeneration, said: “This property was unlicensed and wasn’t in the condition you would expect of a rented property.
“This highlights once again the importance of this type of property being licensed to make sure it is of a suitable standard and properly managed to make sure that tenants are not put at risk.”
In a separate prosecution brought by the council last month, landlord Elvin Asgaraov, of Sterling Avenue, Edgware, pleaded guilty to failing without reasonable excuse to have a licence for an HMO in Windermere Avenue, Finchley.
He was fined £2,000, ordered to pay costs of £2,000 and pay a victim surcharge of £120 at the hearing at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on 12 April.
His company, Avea Ltd, which was also linked to managing the property, was fined £1,000.
Environmental Health Officers inspected the five bedroom house after concerns were raised with the team by a member of the public.
Avea Ltd had leased the house from its owner in March 2013 to house its employees but subsequently let the rooms out separately.
At the time of the inspection the house was being lived in by five tenants.