Three estate agencies in North London have between them been fined in excess of £90,000 by two different boroughs for recent breaches of HMO regulations.
The most shocking case is My London Services which has been fined £32,260. The fine, which includes costs and a victim surcharge, was levied after its sole director 42-year-old Viviane Almeida ignored warnings from enforcement officers from the London Borough of Brent about a room within an HMO she rented out (pictured, above).
During a court hearing Almeida pleaded guilty to breaching HMO licenses including not complying with local amenity and space standards.
Officers had warned her that a room behind the property’s kitchen was not safe to rent out because it represented a significant fire hazard from which there was no means of escape. The room was also less than 6.5 sq m in size.
“Housing tenants in rooms that are too small and hazardous to fire risks is illegal,” says Councillor Eleanor Southwood.
“There’s no excuse for it. Landlords, agencies or sub-letters who exploit tenants will pay heavily in court. Every resident in Brent has the right to a decent standard of living.”
The second case, an HMO in Cricklewood within the London Borough of Camden, came to light dramatically when police and council enforcement officers and officials raided a property on Brassey Road recently.
They found eight tenants living in overcrowded and dangerous conditions.
The two lettings companies involved at the address, Galenon Ltd and Nathiam Ltd which share the same directors, were between them fined £60,000.
One of the directors, 29-yaer-old Michael Zanon, was also fined in excess of £10,000 earlier this year over the parlous state of a different property.
Read more about fined letting agents.