A lettings agency has been fined over £11,000 for alleged breaches of regulations in advertising an unlicenced HMO that was later shut down by the local council.
The Dunstable Today website says Cash Property Management Ltd was contracted to find tenants to live in an illegally-converted commercial building in Luton.
The site says 45 people were later made homeless from the building after council and fire offices inspected it a year ago, issuing it with a prohibiton order.
At Luton Magistrates Court, Cash Property Management’s director Safeel Ahmed, 21, and his stepmother Ashi Ahmed, 36, appeared for sentencing. Others involved in the HMO were fined in March.
In court, Cash Property Management pleaded guilty to telling two tenants that their £450 monthly rents included council tax - described in court as “a misleading action” because council tax was not due as the building was not registered as residential.
Safeel Ahmed failed to respond to a request for information by the local trading standards office and misleading advertising was allegedly made online with the company displaying the ARLA logo when it was not a member. In addition, tenants’ deposits were not placed in a secure deposits scheme.
Dunstable Today says Ashi Ahmed pleaded guilty to regulations breaches in using the ARLA logo when not permitted and failing to place tenants’ deposits in a secure scheme. She was ordered to pay £2,770 in total.
Safeel Ahmed pleaded guilty to using the ARLA logo when not permitted and failing to supply information to Trading Standards. He was made to pay £922 in total.
Cash Property Management as a company pleaded guilty to five offences and was ordered to pay £11,870 in total.