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Barnet council clamping down on unlicensed landlords

Rogue landlords in the London Borough of Barnet are being targeted by the local council as part of a crackdown on unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). 

Barnet council has so far raised in the region of £200,000 in fines and costs as part of the crackdown, with the Yossi Meshulam, of Harrowes Meade in Edgware, becoming the latest landlord to be penalised for failure to adequately license his HMO.

Following an initial complaint, it was discovered that there were as many as 10 people, including children, residing in unsuitably small property that he owned.  

Meshulam was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay council costs of £1,535, as well as a £130 victim surcharge.

Councillor Tom Davey, chair of Barnet’s Council’s housing committee, said: “With so much pressure on the private sector, Barnet Council is keen to ensure that all landlords take their responsibilities seriously and meet the legal requirements in place to ensure the safety of their tenants. Enforcement action will continue to be taken against all landlords who break the law.”

A landlady from Cricklewood who packed 11 tenants into an unlicensed rundown property that breached fire regulations has also been heavily fined.

Khalida Khan, of Cleveland Gardens, rented out the eight-bedroom house in the Golders Green Estate, as illegal bedsits with no fire alarms, fire doors and inadequate fire separation between the rooms.

Khan was fined £6,600 and ordered to pay the council’s costs of £4,384 as well as a victim surcharge of £120 for failing to hold a licence and properly managing the HMO.

Cath Shaw, Barnet Council’s commissioning director for growth and regeneration, told the press: “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.”

Houses in Multiple Occupation

The law states that your home is a HMO if both of the following apply:

+ at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household

+ you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants

Your home is a large HMO if all of the following apply:

+ it’s at least 3 storeys high

+ at least 5 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household

+ you share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants

A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:

married or living together - including people in same-sex relationships

relatives or half-relatives, eg grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, step-parents and step-children

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