Key Property (UK) Ltd fined £47k for damp unlicensed HMO

by Property118.com News Team

11:44 AM, 10th September 2013
About 8 years ago

Key Property (UK) Ltd fined £47k for damp unlicensed HMO

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Key Property (UK) Ltd fined £47k for damp unlicensed HMO

A letting agent who rented out a damp, dangerous and dilapidated property received a hefty fine following a successful council prosecution. 

Key Property (UK) Ltd of 47 Bell Road, Hounslow, who trade under the name Key Solutions and Key Lettings, were fined £42,500, on top of costs and compensation worth £5,040, at Feltham Magistrates Court after being found guilty of 15 housing offences.

The offences related to a property on Cromwell Street, Hounslow, which the council investigated following complaints from tenants in July last year.

Officers inspecting the property found seven tenants living at the property, in five separate bedrooms, which included the front and rear living rooms.

They discovered a significant number of defects relating to excess cold, damp and mould, electrical hazards, problems with sanitation and drainage, security, fire safety, structural hazards and hygiene.

A boiler that had been turned off by the manufacturer due to its unsafe installation had been switched back on.

It was also discovered that the property was a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and required a license to be let out to tenants. Having a license would mean the property was being managed well, and was suitable for occupation.

Cllr Steve Curran, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration at the council said:

“The fact the fine for failing to have an HMO license is one of the largest in the country shows the seriousness of the offences.

“I’m pleased magistrates have thrown the book at this criminal letting agent, as the conditions the tenants were living in – no fire alarms, dangerous gas and electrics, and some of the worst damp and mould our officers have ever seen – were, frankly, appalling.

“They took more than £24,000 in rent from these tenants and left them to live in squalor.

“They tried to avoid their legal responsibilities, but thanks to the hard work of our housing team, we were able to successfully prosecute them.”

Key Property were found guilty of 15 housing offences at Feltham Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 4 September.

The offences, fines and costs awarded were:

  • Managing an unlicensed HMO: £15,000 fine
  • Supplying false information: £5,000 fine
  • 3 offences relating to management of the property: £22,500 fine
  • Compensation to tenants: £600
  • Victim surcharge: £120
  • Council’s legal costs: £4,320

The director of Key Property (UK) Ltd is Mrs Adibah Uddin, and the company secretary is Mr Iftikhar Uddin

Comments

Joe Bloggs

21:45 PM, 10th September 2013
About 8 years ago

i think it is likely that 'The director of Key Property (UK) Ltd is Mrs Adibah Uddin, and the company secretary is Mr Iftikhar Uddin' are also the landlord. otherwise safe to say the landlord would also have been prosecuted...in fact more so than the agent.

Mark Alexander

22:18 PM, 10th September 2013
About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jamie Moodie" at "10/09/2013 - 21:38":

Jamie, you said .... "there are two people in a deal, so someone wanted the rooms in that condition, regardless of whether we think its appropriate or not"

Landlords renting beds in sheds to immigrants might say the same thing but that doesn't mean that what they are doing is right or legal.

As I suspected and stated earlier into this thread, we will have to agree to disagree, especially as you are now trying to make this debate personal.

MKS Lunar

10:59 AM, 23rd September 2013
About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Freda Blogs" at "10/09/2013 - 20:27":

Hi everyone.
I am a relation of the landlord and although I never normally get involved in any forums, I felt it appropriate to give the facts so as to form a better opinion.
The property was let to Only 3 people on a joint tenancy so not an HMO.
One of the tenants long gone back to India. The other people are not tenants and not paying any rent to Landlord. They have moved in illegally and paying rent to the 2 remaining tenants.
Hands up, property was in poor condition WHEN tenants viewed and accepted tenancy. Agents didn't manage property well. With so many unknown people living there n cooking n drying clothes etc in the rooms, condensation and property just kept getting worse. Remember there are from 7 to 10 people living in a 3 bedroom house with just one toilet etc.
Tenants would also deny access, we think, because they didn't want us to see how many illegal people were living there.
Council only got involved when agent was instructed to evict tenants to do the work and to let property to just a family as originally planned.
Both landlord and in particular agents did make mistakes etc. one major mistake was to take dodgy tenants, who haven't paid last 4 months rent and are demanding a further 12 months rent free.
Basically property is in poor condition which is admitted and landlord does want to do it up, but with no rent coming in, access denied and now threatening demands for rent free or they will go running back to council again.
This is basically a tenants scam and they are using the council etc to delay matters as much as possible.
One last fact, the agent didn't turn upto court and hence automatically found guilty on all counts. Don't get me wrong, agents did make some very silly mistakes and need to shoulder a lot of the blame.
I know some people will always back tenants and I agree they need decent housing and should be protected. But, if property is so bad, why did they accept it and why are they so desperate to stay there!!!

MKS Lunar

11:13 AM, 23rd September 2013
About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "MKS Lunar" at "23/09/2013 - 10:59":

Sorry, omitted to mention, tenants want a further 12 months rent free on top of no rent paid last 4 months! Yes you heard right 12 Months!!

Landlord has written to council complaining about access denied to builders.

Mark Alexander

11:49 AM, 23rd September 2013
About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "MKS Lunar" at "23/09/2013 - 11:13":

Your relation (the landlord) needs to seek professional advice on tenant eviction - see >>> http://www.property118.com/tenant-eviction/39099/

MKS Lunar

11:59 AM, 23rd September 2013
About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "23/09/2013 - 11:49":

Thanks. Landlord has offered to do all the work and offered a new tenancy agreement to include all current occupiers, but tenants seem to favour living in current conditions for rent free.
We suspect living without paying rent to landlord and same time receiving rents from subletting maybe more attractive.
Solicitor is getting instructed and we are getting documentation from the agents/

Appreciate your help. Like I said mistakes on both sides but tenants not as keen to resolve matter speedily.

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