Published 1st September 2020
This month we have seen more rogue landlords handed out eye-watering fines and news of a council seeking to revoke the licences for a large student flats agency in Lincoln.
At Kamma, we understand that property licensing is complex, inconsistent and ever changing. Our technology and software cuts through that complexity to keep you on top of all the changes with clear and accurate advice. We analyse and sort data to help agents, landlords and surveyors understand the impact of Property Licensing and Planning Permission on their properties and assets. By leveraging technology and data, we want to ensure that no tenant has to live in substandard or unsafe accommodation again.
August’s Top Three Unlicensed Properties and Rogue Landlords:
In a case held the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), East London agency, Woodland Properties Management Ltd, was slapped with a fine of £23,500 for failing to licence a property in Ilford and to address issues concerning anti-social behaviour, overcrowding and fire safety.
Multiple complaints had been made by local residents concerning the unlicensed property, which was operating as a brothel.
Elsewhere in the area, another case concerned Mr Habib, a landlord who was fined £11,250 for operating an Ilford property as an unlicensed HMO as well as failing to address concerns over fire safety and the property’s overall management.
“These hefty fines should serve as a warning to those unscrupulous landlords who think they can profiteer by cutting corners. I’m pleased the First-Tier Tribunal recognised the severity of the breaches of regulations and the impact these have had on local people.Jackie Smith, the council’s cabinet member for community safety
We will continue to penalise those in the private rental sector who want to make a quick buck at the expense of tenants’ health and safety, while also causing anti-social behaviour problems for their neighbours.”
Mr Goodwin, of Ronalds Road, Highbury, London, appeared in court for operating an unlicensed HMO based in Lincoln.
The property, which contained numerous fire hazards and a broken window in a room occupied by a couple with a one-year-old baby, was deemed to be too dangerous for its tenants.
The landlord was criticised by the judge who told him that “people could have died” in the house due its unacceptable conditions. The court heard that smoke seals on two doors in the house had been covered in paint, which would prevent them from effectively stopping the spread of smoke and fire.
The rogue landlord was fined £17,000, plus ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £3,000.
“We take the safety of our residents very seriously, and this court ruling shows that there’s no place to hide for rogue landlords in Lincoln.
I would like to thank the Legal and Private Housing teams at City of Lincoln Council for all of their hard work on this case and in ensuring such a significant outcome.”Cllr Donald Nannestad, portfolio holder for Quality Housing at City of Lincoln Council
Earlier in the month Lincoln City Council sent a letter to landlords stating that both Orange Living Limited, trading as Loc8me, and their director Raffaele Russo, have been determined not fit and proper to hold an HMO licence or manage a licensed HMO (house in multiple occupation). They are asking the landlords to submit an application with an alternative licence holder.
The student lets agency, Loc8me, has more than 4,000 tenants and manages more than 20,000 properties across Lincoln, Loughborough, Hull, London, Nottingham, Leicester, Cardiff and Birmingham.
In October 2019, Orange Living Limited was convicted of four offences of operating an unlicensed HMO at Leicester Magistrates Court. The letting agent was fined £80,000 for failing to licence shared houses it rented out, resulting in an entry for them made on the Rogue Landlord Database for two years.
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