A lettings agency and its director have pleaded guilty to renting out an overcrowded house in the first case brought to court by a new so-called ‘rogues taskforce’.
Monsoon Properties Limited and the company’s director, Kamal Uddin, from Haringey in London, were ordered to pay over £9,500 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to over-occupying a licensed house in multiple occupation and breaching HMO management regulation.
The prosecution came after Camden council’s new taskforce visited the property to investigate whether sufficient work had been carried out to comply with HMO licensing conditions.
The HMO license limited the number of tenants to four people however the property was being let to five international students after the property’s dining room had been partitioned to create an extra bedroom.
Prior to the council’s intervention fire safety standards were not met, with a lack of both fire alarms and fire-resistant doors throughout the property.
Camden was the first inner London borough to introduce an additional licensing scheme for HMO properties in 2015.
Since then it claims over 3,100 Camden HMOs have been inspected and licensed resulting in an estimated 15,000 improvements made by landlords.
The council says these changes “have improved the quality and safety of homes for people living in Camden’s private rented sector.”
However, research by the council estimates that there are over 8,000 HMOs in Camden with what it calls “a significant number” remaining illegally unlicensed.
The taskforce includes environmental health officers, tenancy relations officers and legal experts from different council departments.