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£20,000 bill for string of management failures on unlicensed HMO

The owner of a rented property in west London has received a penalty of more than £20,000 having pleaded guilty to managing an unlicensed house in multiple occupation.

Ajmeet Singh, from Southall, has been fined £17,900 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000 and a victim surcharge of £200 - a total penalty of £20,100. 

He pleaded guilty to managing an unlicensed HMO and three offences in breach of HMO management regulations in relation to a property in Southall. 

A court in Ealing heard that Singh, who ran the shop below the unlicensed HMO, was unaware of his responsibilities concerning the accommodation. This was despite the council raising issues about the property being unlicensed and Singh not complying with HMO management regulations, resulting in the prosecution being started.

Magistrates said Singh showed a flagrant disregard for the law due to his lack of response to the issues raised by the council and was wilful and persistent in avoiding them. 

“With all the information currently available about regulations for licensing and managing private rented properties, it is unbelievable that any reputable owner would be unaware of their responsibilities” an Ealing council spokesman said after the court case. 

Ajmeet Singh was fined for one offence for managing an unlicensed HMO contrary to S72 (1) of the Housing Act 2004 and three offences in breach of HMO management regulations contrary to S234 (3) and (5) of the Housing Act 2004. 

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