The landlord of a house in Cranbourne Avenue has been fined £10k for illegally renting it and allowing 12 people to live there.
Redbridge Council enforcement officers raided the four-bedroom house and took subsequent legal action. The council issued a report which reads:
A managing agent must pay £10,000 for renting a property without a licence as the council continues to clampdown on rogue landlords.
The financial penalty was imposed on Station Estates Ltd by the council after enforcement officers raided an illegally rented property in Cranbourne Avenue, Wanstead to discover 12 people living in the 4-bedroom house.
Licensing of a house in multiple occupation is mandatory for landlords and those that do not comply face being prosecuted or fined up to £30,000.
As well as being unlicensed and severely overcrowded, the property was unsafe and did not meet the standards required for a HMO including mandatory fire safety measures.
Station Estates Ltd, of Whitebarn Lane, Dagenham, initially appealed the financial penalty but then accepted the four breaches of HMO regulations and a £10,000 fine.
Earlier this year, the company was prosecuted and heavily fined for failing to licence a HMO in Barking.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness Cllr Farah Hussain said: “We will not tolerate any landlord or managing agent who causes misery for tenants and puts them at risk. All HMOs must now have a licence and this financial penalty sends out a clear message that we will take tough action against rogue operators who break the law. We will continue to knock on the door of all suspected HMOs as part of our proactive plans to root out unscrupulous landlords and improve standards in the private rented sector.”
As well as mandatory licensing for HMOs, the council has introduced a selective licensing scheme covering 79 per cent of the private rented sector in the borough.