A buy-to-let landlord who failed to obtain a license for a property in London has been ordered to repay close to £40,000 in rent after action was taken by Islington Council.
The Council opted to reclaim the money it paid to Landhouse Ltd in housing benefits relating to an HMO, after the firm admitted to renting out the property without the correct HMO license.
The council’s environmental health officers had conducted an inspection of the property, finding it to be overcrowded and badly managed. Fire hazards were also found throughout the property.
In a hearing at the Property Chamber, London Residential Property First Tier Tribunal, the landlord was ordered to pay £14,140 in fines and costs, as well as repay the council £39,022.52 in housing benefit relating to the period during which the flat was rented without a licence.
Landhouse Ltd has now applied for a licence, but is still liable to repay the benefit, which will be returned to a central government housing benefit consolidation fund.
Councillor Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development, said: “More and more people rent privately in Islington, and we’re committed to helping make sure they have decent homes to live in. We will take action when landlords do not keep within the law, and as this case shows the costs can be very significant.”