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Agent fined more than £32k over unsafe tiny room

A managing agent has been fined more than £30,000 for allowing a tenant to occupy an unsafe tiny room behind a kitchen.

Viviane Almieda, of Falcondale Court, Lakeside Drive in Park Royal, north-west London, ignored warnings from enforcement officers that a room behind the kitchen was not safe to rent out because it was a fire hazard.

The room in a converted three-bedroom property on Redfern Road in nearby Harlesden also measured less than 6.5 square metres - the minimum legal requirement for a single bedroom.

The agent pleaded guilty to breaching HMO licensing conditions, including failing to comply with the council’s amenity and space standards as well as obstructing the council's investigation, in Willesden Magistrates Court.

Almieda, whose agency My London Services Ltd, was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £2,090 in court costs and a £170 victim surcharge. 

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, cabinet member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: “Housing tenants in rooms that are too small and hazardous to fire risks is illegal.

“There’s no excuse for it. Landlords, agencies or subletters who exploit tenants will pay heavily in court. Every resident in Brent has the right to a decent standard of living.”

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