A ruling of the First Tier Property Tribunal has put a London property management firm in the clear following a dispute concerning a licence for an HMO.
Robert Hallet, a former music promoter who has worked with other A-list musicians including Justin Bieber, told the tribunal that he was initially unaware of the need for a licence for his HMO in 2019.
He said he had not been informed of the need by his managing agency, NorthWest6 in Kilburn, which he said had been employed for 15 years to look after the property.
The tribunal was told that Hallet was not a professional landlord, had a busy international career as a music promoter travelling extensively without using a permanent base, and in any case had instructed the agency to manage the property.
Hallet told the tribunal that he worked with well-known bands and was, in his own words, “a global touring expert.”
In 2019, when the absence of a licence came to light, he had been on the road for two and a half months straight with 22 stage shows, and did not return to the UK until September of that year. He was unaware that the property had been “turned into an HMO” having previously let the premises to non-sharers.
But three of his tenants contacted Brent council in March 2020 about their landlord’s alleged failure to repair a shower and also reported that the house was unlicensed.
The Tribunal this month found that his relationship with the managing agency was patchy and that Hallet himself had assumed day to day management of the property at the time the property was unlicensed.
It made a Rent Repayment Order totalling £11,712 with £300 costs.
You can see details of the whole case here.