Advertising campaign warns bedsit landlords in Brent that they must be licensed
- Credit: Archant
Unlicensed landlords are being warned that they face being hauled before the courts in a new eight-week advertising campaign by Brent Council.
Three different adverts are being rolled out across the borough reminding landlords that they will be prosecuted if they are caught illegally renting out shared accommodation properties.
Since January last year, all properties in Brent that are a Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), must be licensed if it is rented out to three or more people with one of them not being related to the others.
The ruling was introduced to clamp down on landlords who rent out slum homes to desperate tenants.
It also aims to tackle anti-social behaviour such as illegal dumping.
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One advert reminds affected landlords that they must buy a licence, a second one publicises the case of Gharmesh and Gita Khatri who were given the maximum £20,000 fine for renting out rundown bedsits in Forty Lane, Wembley, without a licence.
The couple were convicted earlier this month.
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The third advert informs residents and tenants on how to ‘spot a rogue landlord’ and report them to the council.
Cllr Margaret McLennan, Brent Council’s lead member for housing and development, said: “Licensing is good for everyone in Brent. It drives up standards in the private sector and ensures a good standard of living for our residents, whilst reducing anti-social behaviour and illegally dumped rubbish which can have an impact on local neighbourhoods and property prices.
“While there are many good landlords in the borough who have licensed their properties, there’s still a significant number who haven’t and who are operating illegally. “This new campaign has been developed to give landlords an opportunity to licence their properties before we start taking enforcement action and they’re faced with a very significant fine and a criminal record.”
In April last year Douglas Gerard-Reynolds was the first landlord to be fined for renting out an unlicensed MHO in Anson Road, Cricklewood.
His tenants were forced to live in substandard bedsits with inadequate heating facilities and water leaks.
He was ordered to pay a total of £2,500.
Two months later and he was fined almost £9,000 for renting out a second property he owns in Lechmere Road, Willesden Green, without a licence.
The court heard he crammed 16 people into the six-roomed house where they left expose to dangerous electric wiring and an unsafe ceiling which could have collapsed.
To apply for a licence visit brent.gov.uk/prslicensing or call 020 8937 2384/5.