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Hefty fine for landlord who didn’t register HMO

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The owner of a three-storey property in Totteridge has been ordered to pay £15,281 in fines and costs after failing to obtain a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licence.

Landlord Suresh Nathan Paramaswara was convicted for failing to register this house as a HMO.

Landlord Suresh Nathan Paramaswara was convicted for failing to register this house as a HMO.

Landlord Suresh Nathan Paramaswara was convicted at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 25 June after a successful prosecution by Barnet Council.

The council was made aware of the unlicensed three-storey property in Southway, Totteridge. Upon inspection, Barnet Council’s Private Sector Housing Team found that the house was occupied by four separate lettings and a total of four tenants. Just prior to the inspection the house had been occupied by six tenants.

The loft space had been converted into two lettings which were very small. If Paramaswara had applied for a licence, the council would have identified these unsatisfactory conditions during the licensing inspection.

At a time when Barnet is seeing an increasing number of tenants in the private sector, the council is keen to work with landlords to assist them in meeting their legal requirements and ensuring that accommodation is of the necessary legal standards.

Landlords who fail to license their properties will be subject to the full range of enforcement powers. This not only includes prosecution but also a penalty notice of up to £30,000.

Cllr Gabriel Rozenberg, Chairman of the Housing Committee, said: “HMO licensing is not a new regulatory tool. Barnet now has more than 1,000 licences issued to landlords of HMOs who have taken appropriate steps to ensure that they are meeting their legal requirements.

“Landlords have been required to obtain a licence for their HMOs for several years. Those who fail to do so can expect us to take enforcement action against them. 

“I encourage landlords of licensed premises to report others in the rental market who refuse to follow the law.”

Most HMOs in the Barnet borough are required to be licensed. You can read more about how to apply for an HMO licence in Barnet at: www.barnet.gov.uk/hmos.

Landlords or managing agents looking for help to understand the law can seek accreditation through the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme. This provides training on legislation, housing standards and more, drawing on the expertise of local council experts. Find out more at: www.londonlandlords.org.uk.

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