Landlord prosecuted and fined
Published: Wednesday 12th July 17
A Tooting landlord has been prosecuted by the Council and ordered to pay a fine and court costs, for not meeting legal requirements when renting a house to tenants.
On Monday 10 July, AA Property and Construction Services Ltd pleaded guilty at Wimbledon Magistrates Court to failing to apply for a licence for a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Graveney Road.
By law, the landlord of the three-storey, five-bedroom property, rented by five unrelated tenants with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities, should have applied to the council for it to be inspected and a licence issued.
The council asked AA Property and Construction Services Ltd, which rents out several other HMO-licenced properties in the borough, to apply for a licence along with documentation including electrical safety certification and a Gas Safe certificate.
Only after several warnings, and a visit to the property by officers from the council’s Private Sector Housing service, was there any attempt to submit an application, before court proceedings were brought and the landlord changed its plea to guilty.
The court issued a fine of £3,000 plus a £170 victim surcharge and court costs of £1,346, totalling £4,516, due to be paid in full within 28 days.
The tenants are now eligible to apply to a First Tier Tribunal for a Rent Repayment Order, which can entitle them to up to 12 months of their rent back.
Cllr Clare Salier, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We won’t hesitate to take action against landlords who repeatedly fail to comply with the law, which is there to ensure the safety of tenants.”
The council employs a team of officers to help ensure tenants live in well maintained accommodation, and to help landlords provide a high quality service, by:
- arranging advice and training
- inspecting properties
- encouraging tenants to try and resolve issues directly with landlords
- investigating complaints about disrepair or safety issues
- serving notices on landlords to carry out repairs
- if the repairs are not carried out, prosecuting or fining landlords; and
- carrying out the work and sending the bill to the landlord
- working with landlords’ associations and the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme to ensure good practice