A landlord has been ordered to pay £2,650 in fines and costs after failing to licence a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), following a successful prosecution by Barnet Council.

Investigators discovered that the two-storey property in Hamonde Close, Edgware, was housing seven people during an evening inspection by the council’s Private Sector Housing Enforcement Team.

They wrote to the owner, Charles Molen, twice to ask him to confirm how many people were living in the building – but he did not reply within the 14-day deadline. He was convicted at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 22 January and ordered to pay £2,650 within 28 days.

The HMO licensing scheme was expanded on 1 October 2018, meaning that properties housing five or more people must be licensed to do so. There is a further Additional Licensing Scheme from Barnet Council that all HMO landlords in the area must complete.

Councillor Gabriel Rozenberg, Chair of Barnet Council’s Housing Committee, said: “Landlords must follow the correct legislation when it comes to licensing HMOs. Failure to do so will result in enforcement action which may result in prosecution or a Penalty Notice of up to £30,000. So far in 2019 we have already issued £46,900 worth of penalty notices.

“This is important legislation that we use to protect the safety of our tenants. We are committed to investigating and prosecuting the small minority of landlords in Barnet who mistakenly think they can get away with riding roughshod over the law.”

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