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Judge rejects landlord duo's appeal over £21,000 council fine

rent repayment order cricklewood

A landlord couple have been ordered to pay a Rent Repayment Order reduced by £6,000 but will still have to fork out £21,000 between them in fines.

Hyeon Jeong Ro and Aaron Shorr appealed against the penalty which a First Tier Property Tribunal heard resulted from not licensing their rental property in Cricklewood, North London (pictured) as well as failing to have working fire safety equipment, not keeping the property in good repair, or displaying their details.

The pair said they weren’t aware of Camden Council’s licensing scheme.

Despite Ro suggesting she was “stupid” the tribunal heard she had been managing two properties as a landlord, without a professional agent, for at least eight years.

The judge said it was clearly within their abilities to achieve a basic level of competence in property management by taking the relatively simple step of instituting a system to keep up-to-date with their obligations.

But it accepted that, to an extent, she was well-intentioned and had refurbished the property to a high standard.

“However, it did not even occur to her to have a fire risk assessment carried out so that the refurbishment works could include any fire safety upgrades required.”

The judge added: “The applicants are a married couple who arranged their affairs to divide responsibilities between them – Ms Ro had the responsibility of day-to-day management of the property.

“They are not entirely separate but nor do they bear the same degree of culpability for the offences which were committed in this case.

“Imposing penalties on the two of them as if they were entirely separate but bore equal culpability has resulted in a total fine which is disproportionate to the offences committed.”

It agreed to lower the total penalty shared between their four tenants from £27,000 to £21,000.

Read the Tribunal decision in full.
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Rent repayment orders
Property tribunal