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Landlord ordered to pay more than £9k for unlicensed HMO

A buy-to-let landlord in London has been ordered to pay more than £9,000 for failing to license a HMO.

Across Tower Hamlets, landlords are required to license HMOs that have three or four occupants living as two or more households with shared facilities that are not already covered by the mandatory scheme that exists for larger HMOs of five or more tenants.

But Thames Magistrates Court heard that Mohammed Saleh Ahmed opted to ignore the rules by not licensing his property in the local area. Consequently, the landlord was handed a £4,000 fine plus costs of over £5,000.

John Biggs, mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “This case sends out a message to show that the council can and will enforce against landlords who fail to register their properties and that they face serious penalties for failing to do so.

“This prosecution action and the new scheme shows we are taking action to protect tenants and support standards for renters in the private rented sector.” 

The licensing scheme, designed to ensure that properties are managed effectively and provide a safe home for tenants, effectively makes landlords accountable for the their tenants’ behaviour.

Cllr Sirajul Islam, deputy mayor for housing and statutory deputy mayor, said: “The council cares about renters and will insist that landlords get the necessary licensing that protects both landlord and tenants.

“Housing is at such a premium in the borough that shared overcrowded flats used by multiple tenants are common. The scheme is essential in protecting health and safety for tenants and has real teeth.”

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    I'm not saying ignorance of regulations is to be condoned, but...
    " effectively makes Landlords accountable for their tenants behaviour - ! " I don't think so.
    Tenants are customers, not our children.
    As for holding tenants to account for complying with their tenancy agreement, - well all landlords know that's a Non-starter, given the ineffective Civil justice ( sic ) system.

  • Paul Barrett

    With the Tower Hamlets Additional Licensing scheme do the council check the beds of all the properties in the morning to ascertain if they are warm!!!!?
    I say this as how can the Council prove that three unrelated occupants may not be in a relationship with eachother.
    A LL cannot prevent romantic involvements.
    Ever heard of menage a toise
    Councils simply cannot prove that tenants are in fact unrelated.
    Relationships start and stop all the time.
    Additional Licensing cannot be enforced if a Council cannot prove 3 occupants aren't in a relationship with eachother.
    This being the case there are only 2 households and therefore not subject to Additional Licensing

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    In Scotland the onus is on the Landlord to establish (and have a written declaration) that unrelated adults are in a relationship before more than 2 unrelated adults can share a non HMO property. All the arguments about right to privacy, presumption of innocence etc. have been tried and failed.

    Paul Barrett

    So how will a Council be able to keep up with things when people breakup and then makeup all on the same night.
    It is simply not possible for any council to police relationships.
    So all a LL does is have 2 of the 3 tenants state they are in a relationship.
    Such statements may be amended as relationships change.
    But at all times 2 of the tenants WILL be in a relationship with eachother.
    I reckon a LL would offer a little cash bonus for tenants confirming a relationship status.
    Councils are easy to beat with their ridiculous Additional Licensing requirements.
    Additional Licensing serves NO useful purpose other than as an income earner for the council. £50 to each of the 3 tenants would be welcomed for having 2 of them declare they are in a relationship.

     
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