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Hefty fine for HMO owner who failed to buy council licence

The owner of a house in multiple occupation in the leafy Hampstead area of north London has been hit with a hefty fine for operating a property without a licence.

Grenfell Gordon Royce was fined £2,700 for offences under the Housing Act at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court. He was also ordered to pay Camden council’s costs of £1,700. Royce has a previous conviction for similar offences in 2013.

Council officers visited the property in August 2016 and found a dangerous staircase and fire safety concerns including lack of smoke alarms and a dangerous light fitting. Wiring to a fridge freezer was found to be passing through a wall to a neighbouring room.

Camden council told Royce to repair the property and obtain an HMO licence. He failed to do this.

“All landlords should keep their property to a safe and liveable standard – not only to maintain public confidence in landlords, but so that tenants paying high rents are not exploited. Camden council will catch up with landlords who ignore this advice” a spokesman for the authority said.

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