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£15,000 fine for failing to license and manage HMO

A landlady has been fined £15,000 for failing to license and manage a house in multiple occupation. 

Sharon Jacobs was also ordered to pay costs of £3,456.52 and a victim surcharge of £170.

A number of complaints were received from different tenants living in the property on Barnet, north London, prompting council officers to investigate. 

A warrant was later obtained to enter the building, and police and environmental health officers discovered five people living in the property plus the resident landlady.

Under Barnet council’s licensing scheme for HMOs, higher-risk properties must be licensed, properly managed and meet minimum standards. 

In addition to failing to license the property, officers also noticed serious safety concerns including a mini oven and freezer on the main fire escape routes and a partially-collapsed kitchen ceiling. There was also a lack of adequate smoke alarms and incomplete fire doors to prevent the spread of smoke and flames.

“This landlady has knowingly avoided licensing her property and carrying out necessary works, and I’m pleased to see our enforcement action has sent a strong message that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable. Enforcement officers are visiting properties across Barnet every day, and HMO landlords found not to be licensed will have action taken against them” says a council spokesman.

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