A local council says it has now successfully prosecuted a landlord for flouting the law that protects the health and safety of private tenants - and it came after a tip off.
Fouad Ahmad, from Streatham, pleaded guilty to failing to register a house in multiple occupancy at Lavender Hill Magistrates Court in Battersea, south London.
The 48-year-old was handed a fine of £1,965 for the breach of Section 72(1) of The Housing Act 2004 and was ordered to pick up Merton council’s bill for costs which was £1,750 in addition to a surcharge of £196.
Following a tip off expressing concerns over a two-storey house in in Mitcham an investigation was launched by the council.
The officers discovered that despite the fact more than five unrelated housemates were sharing bathroom and kitchen facilities at the terraced house, Ahmed had not applied for an HMO licence.
He was prosecuted under updated terms of The Housing Act 2004 – which since last October have stipulated that all HMO’s with five or more people making up two or more households must be registered as an HMO.
Previously the requirement for a HMO licence only applied to houses of three storeys or more.
Council spokesman Martin Whelton says: “We will not hesitate to take robust enforcement action against those breaching their responsibilities under HMO legislation especially since the important change in legislation last October. We are also undertaking further work on introducing a landlord licensing scheme and a paper will be coming to cabinet in September.”