Three tenants have won a �20,160 rent repayment order from their landlord who failed to licence his HMO.
A First Tier Property Tribunal found that Simon Freed let out the three-bedroom flat in Frognal Court, Camden (main picture), after the council had introduced an additional licensing scheme.
The tenants signed a tenancy agreement with him, trading as F&M Investments Ltd, for 12 months in September 2021, paying their �2,400-a-month rent first to the landlord and then to Vita Properties, which the court ruled was evidence that Freed was within the definition of a person managing the premises.
However, he was debarred from proceedings as he had only responded to court directions on the morning of the hearing after claiming emails had gone into his junk mail folder.
The tribunal judge ruled that not checking his email folders was not a reasonable excuse for not complying with the directions. He also ruled that there was insufficient evidence to raise a defence of reasonable excuse.
Freed's tenants claimed that their landlord didn't provide a gas safety certificate, electrical installation condition report and How to Rent guide, or display his details.
They had applied for a rent repayment order of �28,800, however, as the house didn't have any major structural or safety defects, the court made a total reduction of 30%.
The judge said: 'There was some indication that Mr Freed rented other properties elsewhere, as correspondence from his former managing agents refers to them managing '�properties'. This would suggest a slightly higher level of culpability.'�