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Landlord fined for squeezing tenants into illegal HMO

Great Leylands in Harlow

A rogue landlord has been ordered to pay more than £23,000 after he admitted operating an unlicensed and unsafe HMO.

Harlow Council received a complaint in December 2022 that Ervis Xhaferi’s property in Great Leylands had been converted into an HMO. Council officers tried to engage with Xhaferi on several occasions, but he repeatedly denied that his property was an HMO.

Further complaints from the public prompted the council’s HMO enforcement team to inspect the three-bedroom house where they found it had been converted into a four-bed and now housed six people.

Significant hazards

They also discovered that the property was unsafe and fell well below required fire safety standards. Significant hazards included a lack of any working fire alarms, no fire rated doors and a loft room occupied without building control approval.

Xhaferi was fined £16,200 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £2,000 and court costs of £5,500 during an appearance at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.

Safety standards

Councillor Nicky Purse, cabinet portfolio holder for sustainability and environment (pictured right), says: “As we work towards achieving our missions of protecting our communities and transforming Harlow’s housing, we will continue to robustly monitor HMOs in the town to ensure that they are fully licensed and meet all the required safety standards.

“I hope that this result sends a clear message that we take the safety of Harlow’s residents seriously and that we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers to protect our community.”


Hmo licencing
Landlord fines