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Brent Landlord Ran Illegal HMO Earning Almost £70k Per Year

A Brent landlord running an illegal HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) was estimated to be raking in £68,400 a year.

Officers from London’s Brent council found 16 people crammed inside the unlicensed HMO, a converted three-bedroom semi – including three in the shed.

The Council raid followed tip-offs from neighbours. Fly-tipping and the constant coming-and-going from the property had led neighbours to complain to Brent council’s enforcement team.

The three tenants in the shed were found to be paying the Brent landlord up to £800 per month for the privilege.

One family of four told officers they were paying the landlord £800 a month to live in a single, windowless room on the ground-floor.

Tenants had no written tenancy agreement from their landlord or any cash receipts for their rent payments – with the Brent landlord estimated to be raking in £68,400 a year.

The illegal house in multiple occupation operated by the Brent landlord also lacked a working fire alarm system, had poor maintenance, and also had poor ventilation.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, cabinet member for Housing and Welfare Reform, confirmed that the Brent landlord ‘faces a hefty fine for breaking the licensing laws around houses in multiple occupation’.

She said: ‘We will do everything in our power to protect vulnerable tenants from this kind of gross exploitation. Every renter in Brent deserves to live in a home that is safe and maintained to a decent standard.’

Earlier this week, Brent council’s cabinet backed changes to the way limited social housing is allocated in the borough – with homelessness increasing and a third of the borough’s residents in PRS.

The cabinet is driving forward an ambitious programme to build 1,000 council homes, increasing affordable housing through the council-owned company i4B and London-wide Capital Letters initiative, and driving up standards in the private rented sector.

Source: Residential Landlord

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Family home turned into multi-occupation house despite concerns

Retrospective plans to turn a family home into a seven-bed house in multiple occupation in Coventry have been approved, despite a councillor’s claims it is a deliberate attempt to circumvent the planning process.

A bid for a nine-bed HMO was previously refused by officers on the grounds it was intensified use but a second application was passed by a committee on Thursday (June 13) after the size reduced by two rooms.

Councillor Tim Sawdon had criticised how the applicant sought retrospective approval for 30 Old Mill Avenue, and blasted the proposals as gross over-development of the site.

But planning officer Shamim Chowdhury said: “The use is clearly different to a family house and increases the potential of noise, however in this case it is a large property and does not share and walls with other houses.

“Retrospective applications are acceptable and we cannot control that.

“In terms of assessment we do the same as a normal application.”

One of the conditions was for the house to be occupied by no more than seven residents, with planning policy manager Mark Andrews adding the authority will be monitoring the licence.

Concerns were also raised about whether the parking was adequate, with officers stating up to six cars would be catered for, but only with four at a time would they be able to manoeuvre on the drive independently.

Cllr Naeem Akhtar said: “Our local plan requires all HMOs to provide adequate parking, this is not adequate parking.”

Council officers said the local plan indicates the application requires ‘up to six spaces’ and was therefore acceptable.

By Tom Davis

Source: Coventry Telegraph