Willesden Magistrates Court imposed the fine on letting agent Viviane Almieda of Falcondale Court, Lakeside Drive in Park Royal who ran My London Services Ltd.
She rented out an unsafe, tiny room behind a kitchen and has been ordered to pay a £30,000 fine plus £2,090 in court costs and a £170 victim surcharge by the court on 11 September 2018.
The agent knowingly kept the tenant in a “cooped up in a tiny room”. Ms Almeida pleaded guilty to breaching HMO licensing conditions, including failing to comply with the council’s amenity and space standards as well as obstructing the council’s investigation, the court heard.
She had ignored warnings from enforcement officers that a tiny room behind the kitchen was not safe to rent out because it was a fire hazard. The room also measured less than 6.5 square metres – the minimum legal requirement for a single bedroom.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said:
“Housing tenants in rooms that are too small and hazardous to fire risks is illegal. There’s no excuse for it. Landlords, agencies or subletters who exploit tenants will pay heavily in court. Every resident in Brent has the right to a decent standard of living.”
There are three separate entries on the Mayor of London’s Rogue landlord and agent checker: enforcement action details and criminal convictions for Viviane Cristina Da Silva Almeida, sole director of My London Services, for more regulation breaches in the London Borough of Southwark – here , here and here
After the 1st of October any property that is rented out, regardless of the number of storeys, to five or more people who are not all related will require a mandatory HMO licence, and new minimum room sizes will apply.
Landlords with properties of this type, who don’t have an HMO licence should apply without delay – there is no grace period.
Most local authorities have an online application process similar to that provided by Brent Council here: www.brent.gov.uk/prslicensing