A letting agency and one of its landlords have been fined over £20,000 and given criminal records for failing to licence a rental property and ignoring requests for essential maintenance work.
PMC Management and Collections, based in Marylebone, and landlord Khalid Latif have been convicted after ignoring repeated warnings from Brent Council to bring the property up to scratch.
The four-bedroom property in Willesden Green housed six tenants, who collectively complained to Brent Council about poor living conditions.
There was no hot water or central heating, rot and damp problems and little in the way of fire safety measures.
Brent council claims that Latif, who has owned the property since 2000, was earning in excess of £2,500 per month in rent from the six tenants.
After the complaints were made, Brent Council's Private Housing Services team visited the property on several occasions and repeatedly contacted both the landlord and the letting agency over the course of eight months, consistently finding that no repairs had taken place.
PMC Management and Collections and Latif were subsequently convicted at Brent Magistrates Court of failing to licence the property.
Both parties were fined £9,500 each and were required to pay £695 each in costs as well as a victim surcharge of £120 each. This brings the total fine to over £20,000.
“Unlicensed, unsafe properties like this are a danger to the entire community and it is unacceptable that anyone in London should have to rent a property that lacks basic facilities like hot water," commented Councillor Harbi Farah, Brent Council's Lead Member for Housing.
“Our licensing scheme ensures that landlords maintain their rental properties to a decent standard. If you’re a landlord, failure to licence your property could result in an unlimited fine and a criminal record.”
Brent Council, which runs a selective landlord licensing scheme, says in the nine months up to August 2016, it raided over 100 unlicensed properties and successfully prosecuted 35 landlords.
Just last month, the council fined a landlord £40,000 for cramming 24 tenants into one rental property, and another landlord £18,000 for failing to make renovations to his property.