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Lettings management firm and director hit with huge fines for HMO breaches

A property company managing an HMO in prime central London has been £47,900.

The fine is in relation to 24 charges under the Housing Act 2004 after Kensington & Chelsea council officers found numerous breaches of regulations ranging from a faulty smoke detector to unsafe banisters in the property in Notting Hill. 

AAA London Property Limited had entered guilty pleas to 13 of the charges at an earlier hearing and was subsequently found guilty of the remaining 11 charges after trial.

The company’s director, Jagjit Kaur - who lives in the US - was fined £21,870 in relation to 16 charges under the Housing Act 2004. Kaur had entered guilty pleas to nine of the charges at an earlier hearing and she was subsequently found guilty of the remaining seven charges after a trial earlier this month. 

Both Kaur and her company were charged with failing to comply with a Prohibiton Order preventing one of the rooms as living accommodation, breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and failure to produce tenancy agreements under section 235 of the Housing Act 2004.

Both the company and Kaur disputed the need to provide tenancy agreements to the council citing that they would be in breach of the Data Protection Act. They also disputed that a sink in one of the rooms was blocked on the day a council officer visited and that the smoke alarms were incorrectly installed. 

Kaur’s defence argued that someone else was managing the property.

Magistrates heard that the property in question was a six-storey HMO that had been converted into 35 lettings, in which approximately 45 tenants lived. The council produced a copy of the HMO application form which confirmed that AAA London Property Limited is the licence holder and Kaur is the manager with responsibility.

The court took into account the early guilty pleas by AAA London Property Limited and Kaur, as well as their good character. Accordingly the magistrates imposed a reduction to the financial penalty in relation to those specific charges.

As well as being fined AAA London Property Limited and Kaur were ordered to pay the council’s costs of £7,709.75 and both had to pay a victim surcharge of £120.

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