Rogue estate agent prosecuted for HMO failure
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Legal
Camden Council has prosecuted a rogue estate agency in the week that it launched a campaign to improve standards in the private rented sector.
A director of Carter Reeves estate agents was fined by Highbury Magistrates' Court for failing to obtain a house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence.
Carter Reeves, which was based in Kings Cross, has now dissolved so the £4,800 fine and costs of £12,269 were ordered against former director Akil Miah.
The owners of the property in Kentish Town had previously been prosecuted by the council for failing to obtain an HMO licence and asked Carter Reeves to manage the property for them.
To avoid having to apply for a HMO licence, the estate agents let the property to five tenants but only put four on the tenancy agreement.
Housing legislation states that a property with five or more tenants that has three or more storeys must have an HMO licence.
Councillor Julian Fulbrook said: “This prosecution is just the latest of our successes against rogue private sector landlords. It shows how serious we are about tackling the problem of poor quality private rented sector accommodation.
“Rising housing prices together with the lack of affordable homes in Camden means that we have to make sure that private landlords do not take advantage of the situation. We are serious about protecting vulnerable tenants and I would like as many people as possible to get involved in our campaign to improve standards in the private sector.”