money

07 Apr 23

A London landlord has been ordered to pay over £33,000 in costs for illegally running an HMO.

The three-bedroom HMO was identified by Barking and Dagenham council as not having planning permission, either granted or pending, to change from a single dwelling.

The landlord, Husna Patel, was sent letters in January and March 2019 making her aware of the planning regulation requirements, however these were ignored, and an Enforcement Notice was served in April 2019 requiring the use of the HMO to be ceased within six months.

In January 2020 an inspection by council officers discovered that the property was still being occupied by two unrelated families who were sharing kitchen and bathroom facilities.

During further investigation, it was established that the property was managed by Woodland Property Management Ltd of Ilford.

Patel and Woodland Property Management Ltd were summoned to Barkingside Magistrates Court last May but Patel failed to attend and a warrant not backed for bail was issued. She surrendered to custody last June.

Patel and Woodland Property Management Ltd attended Barkingside Magistrates Court at the end of last month where they pleaded guilty.

Patel was ordered to pay a £5,000 fine, costs of £1,542.50 and £27,000 under the Proceeds of Crime legislation totalling £33,542.50.

Woodland Property Management Ltd was ordered to pay a fine of £7,500, costs of £1,542.50 and £3,000 under the Proceeds of Crime legislation, totalling £12,042.50.

A council spokesperson says: “Landlords operating in Barking and Dagenham must follow the rules we’ve set out to ensure that tenants are looked after properly. This particular landlord and property management company failed to do this and completely ignored requests from our officers. They’re now paying the price with a huge fine.”

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