Merton Council won its court case against a local landlord last week after Wimbledon Magistrates Court found Mr Abbas guilty of letting a house for multiple occupation without a licence.
Mr Abbas was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,045 after he failed to licence 49 Hassocks Road, Streatham, in contravention of the Housing Act 2004. Various hazards were found in the property including a lack of fire doors, inadequate fire safety equipment and substandard heating. Mr Abbas failed to licence the property despite requests from the council to do so and neglected to carry out works necessary to improve conditions in the building.
The Housing Act 2004 requires the mandatory licencing of houses in multiple occupation where there are more than five tenants from more than one household and the property is three or more storeys high. These include student houses, bedsits and shared accommodation. Multiple occupancy properties should have extra fire safety equipment, sufficient amenities such as toilet and kitchen facilities and yearly gas safety checks.
Cabinet Member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said “This case should serve as a warning to those landlords who fail to comply with licencing requirements. We are committed to putting our residents first and making sure we take action to protect tenants and improve their living conditions. Bad landlords will not be tolerated in Merton and our enforcement team are working hard to ensure they are dealt with appropriately.”
For more information on HMOs or to apply for a licence, please visit http://www.merton.gov.uk/living/housing/privatehousing/hmo.htm
Notes to editors:
· From 6 April 2006 all landlords and property managing agents who let large houses in multiple occupation need to apply for an HMO licence. As of 6 July 2006, landlords and agents who fail to apply for a licence may face fines of up to £20,000, a criminal record and potentially, rent repayment orders.
London Borough of Merton
020 8545 4654