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A landlord has been ordered to pay more than £10,000 for licensing breaches relating to a property that has also seen an estate agency fined.
Willesden Magistrate Court fined Easy Let agency £20,299 in February for failing to licence a three-storey, semi-detached house that was found to be worryingly overcrowded. Following this, property owner Mohammed Mehdi Ali has also been fined £10,000 due to his failure to licence the property, which had been split into flats. This sum is on top of court costs totalling £3,300.
London’s Brent Council found that Easy Let and Ali were in breach of HMO laws. They had crammed more than 10 people into the ground and first floor rooms. Three children were also living in the property.
Willesden Magistrates Court also heard a second case, involving landlord Stephen Citron, who was ordered to pay £17,273 in fines and court costs. This was due to his failure to comply with licensing regulations.
Brent Council had found Citron renting out undersized bedrooms to tenants. He was letting a two-storey property with five standard size bedrooms and two undersized rooms which prohibited for use under the licence conditions.
The rooms measured 5.1 sqm and 4.8 sqm respectively. The legal requirement minimum requirement for a single room is 6.5 sqm, rendering the rooms clearly undersized and unfit for human habitation.
It was said that Citron ignored repeated warnings to make adjustments to his property in order to comply with legal requirements.
Brent Council’s head of private housing services, Spencer Randolph, said Ali and Citron were given ‘every opportunity’ to comply with regulations.
He stated: ‘Instead they held the council in contempt and ended up in court. If they had cooperated with us, they would have been spared the hefty financial blows and criminal records they were dealt in court.’