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Islington Council action leads to £20,000 in fines and costs for HMO licensing offences

Four landlords and a letting agent face bills totalling more than £20,000 after being prosecuted by Islington Council for operating unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

HMOs are properties occupied by three or more people forming more than one household, and HMO licensing is used to tackle poor management of properties and drive up standards of accommodation in the private sector.

Any person or company having control or managing larger HMOs of three or more storeys occupied by five or more people who do not form a single household is required to apply for an HMO licence. Failure to apply for a HMO licence is an offence which can lead to an unlimited fine.

Since 1st September 2015, Islington has extended HMO licensing requirements to cover all HMOs on Holloway Road and Caledonian Road.  This includes all rented properties occupied by three or more people in more than one household and certain converted properties.

Across the five prosecutions, the court ordered the payment of fines totalling £13,900 and the payment of council costs of over £10,000.  For full details of the prosecutions see Notes to Editors.

Jan Hart, Islington Council’s director of public protection, said: “More and more Islington residents rent in the private sector, and we want to make sure they have decent homes.

“Most landlords make sure they follow the law and licensing rules, but we will take action where landlords fail to do this.

“Landlords and tenants can contact the council in confidence for advice if they have concerns about property licensing.”

If you have any questions in relation to HMO licencing you can contact the councils HMO team on 020 7527 3205 or visit www.islington.gov./hmos

Notes to editors

Nessfield Ltd of Holloway Road, Islington, was the first landlord found guilty of operating an unlicensed HMO on Holloway Road under the new additional licensing scheme. The company was found guilty and on 14 April 2016 was fined £2000 with costs of £1196, a total penalty of £3196.
 
Relocations in London Ltd. trading as Relocate you of Royal College Street, Camden, was found guilty on 14 April 2016 of operating an unlicensed HMO on Sussex Way. Investigations revealed Relocations in London Ltd. had sublet the property, without the owner’s consent. The property was poorly managed, and occupied by eight unrelated persons without a fire detection system installed. Relocations in London Ltd. were ordered by the court to pay £6190 (a fine of £4000, £2070 towards costs incurred by the council and a victim surcharge of £120.)
 
Juzar Jeevanjee, a landlord of Liverpool Road, Islington, on 14 April 2016 admitted operating an unlicensed HMO on Gillespie Road. The court ordered Mr. Jeevanjee to pay £4648 (a fine of £2500, £2028 towards costs incurred by the council and a victim surcharge of £120.)
 
Tony Alan Estates Ltd of Plender Street Camden, on 22 April 2016 admitted operating an unlicensed HMO on Tabley Road without a licence. The court ordered Tony Alan Estates to pay £7458.75 (a fine of £3500, £3838.75 towards costs incurred by the council and a victim surcharge of £120.)
 
Nicholas Simpson and Suzanne Simpson of Springfield Road, Wincanton, Somerset and Marlborough Road, Islington, on 10 March 2016 admitted operating an unlicensed HMO on Marlborough Road, Islington. They were each fined £700 and their company Amicable Inns Ltd of Connaught Avenue, Frinton-on-Sea was ordered to pay council costs of £1500.
 
All cases were heard at Highbury Magistrates’ Court.  All defendants can appeal against the sentence within 21 days of it being passed.