21 Mar 2022

A London landlord has been fined £5,000 for letting an unlicensed HMO.

The fine was issued after the landlord ignored repeated warnings from Hackney council to obtain a license to continue letting the property. 

The landlord appealed the fine to the First-Tier Tribunal, which upheld the decision in a virtual hearing.

Hackney’s HMO licensing scheme, which requires landlords to obtain a license to let a property which meets the definition of an HMO, has been in operation since May 2019.

In addition to a fine, landlords who fail to comply with the scheme can be issued with a Rent Repayment Order, requiring them to return rent paid by tenants while the property was unlicensed. 

In this case the council has referred the tenants to a tenancy advocacy organisation, who are supporting them to apply for a Rent Repayment Order.

A Hackney council spokesperson says: “Our HMO licensing scheme is in place to improve conditions in the private rented sector, and to protect tenants from exploitation. 

“It is an important part of our work to make sure that residents have access to homes that are decent, safe and compliant with regulations.

“As this case shows, we are enforcing the scheme diligently and will take action against landlords who refuse comply, while also supporting renters to uphold their rights.”

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