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Landlord must pay back £20,000 to posh tenants, says Tribunal

rent repayment order ebury street

An absentee landlord who used the excuse of not speaking good English and delegated property management to a family member has been stung with a £20,700 rent repayment order.

Dubai-based Rafik Asadov failed to licence his four-bedroom HMO in Ebury Street (pictured), London, after relying on niece Gulsum Asadova as the contact between him and managing agents Marsh & Parsons.

A First Tier Property Tribunal heard that his niece appeared not to have read the management agreement in detail and did not tell her uncle of the contents which explained it was the landlord’s responsibility to adhere to their local authorities’ licensing scheme.

She told the tribunal she thought the licence referred to the actual letting as there was a requirement for the superior landlord to grant a licence before the letting could proceed. Asadov’s defence solicitor said he had not deliberately avoided the law, but that it was ignorance perhaps let down by his niece who was assisting him.


Justice for Tenants, who represented the four renters, said the landlord and his wife owned six properties in the UK – four of them rented out - and should have had a system in place to ensure they complied with all licensing obligations.

The tribunal ruled that it was disappointing that the managing agents, being aware the landlord was letting a property that would fall within the additional licensing scheme, did not take steps to notify the niece that this was the case.

The tribunal was also mindful that when the tenancy started there was no requirement to license the property, which came into effect during the course of the letting arrangement.

However, it added: “The fact that they may not be fluent in English is no excuse for not ensuring that they are up to date with the relevant legislation.”

The four tenants received 50% of the sum claimed.

Read the Tribunal decision in full.


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