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Rogue landlord ordered to pay almost £25k for unlicensed HMO

An unscrupulous landlord has been told to pay close to £25,000 after being prosecuted for renting out rooms in an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), which was in breach of fire safety regulations.

Diana Thompson of Barn Way, Wembley, pretended that she was a lodger to her tenants who were renting rooms inside her property, which is also located in the north west London area.

The two-storey unlicensed detached property came to Brent Council Housing Enforcement officers’ attention following a tip-off from council tax officers that Thompson was trying to claim a single person's discount when in fact she was living in a home that she was renting out to seven other people.

When licensing enforcement officers raided the property in July last year, Thompson lied by saying that she was a relative of the landlordand that the first floor of the property was owned by another landlord.

But when enforcement officers discovered that Thompson was lying and that in actual fact she had failed to licence a HMO as well as failed to comply with fire safety regulations, they rook action against her.

Thompson was ordered to pay fines in total of £20,000 by Willesden Magistrates Court, which included £15,000 for failure to licence and £5,000 for failing to comply with fire safety regulations. She was also ordered to pay a further £4,678 in costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, cabinet member for Housing and Welfare Reform, commented: “Rogue landlords will not get away with pulling the wool over our eyes. If a landlord or agent is breaking the law, we'll find out and we'll hold them accountable.

“Our aim is to drive up housing standards by supporting good landlords and enabling vulnerable tenants to be aware of their rights as renters.”

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