Online letting agent Spotahome has apologised after another illegal HMO was found listed on its platform despite it promising earlier this year to prevent this kind of listing.
In June both an anonymous industry blogger and The Negotiator highlighted several properties on the company’s website which were evidently unlicensed HMO properties, and two months ago a national newspaper also ran a story highlighting similarly unlicensed five and six-bedroom houses on its platform.
At the time Spotahome promised that it would adjust its internal processes to help the company’s self-employed local representatives identify HMOs when preparing property details and photos for the site.
“The Times reached out to us in September amid concerns that a number of properties listed on our platform did not adhere with local licensing regulations,” a Spotahome spokesperson told The Negotiator.
“We took immediate action to unpublish those for which the agents who listed on our platform could not provide evidence that the necessary HMO licenses had been granted or applied for.
“As a consequence, none of these properties have been bookable on our platform since then.
“The property highlighted in a recent blog post that you are referring to was not included in the list of properties communicated to us by The Times, despite the photo subsequently having been used in The Times article.
“We welcome this flag and have now taken similar actions with this property. We confirm that it can no longer be booked on our platform.”