A landlord in west London has been fined over £70,000 for breaching House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) regulations.
Landlord Fined £70,000 for Breaching HMO Regulations
Ealing London Borough Council brought the case against Balwinder Singh Kahlon. He was charged for 18 offences of failing to comply with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 (Section 234(3) and (5) of the Housing Act 2004 and one offence breaching Section 72(2) of the Housing Act 2004. He pleaded guilty to all of the offences.
The 19 fines totalled £69,100 and Kahlon was also ordered to pay council costs of 33,180.43 and a victim surcharge of £120, making the total £72,400.43.
The breaches regard the management of a property on East Avenue, Southall. They were uncovered after an unannounced inspection of the home in January by regulatory services officers.
The licensed HMO for ten people in seven households was found to have numerous serious management breaches, including a blocked escape route, dirty and unmaintained bathrooms and kitchens, unclean communal areas and poor maintenance of the emergency lighting.
A warrant was granted to enter the property. When officers arrived in February, they found 20 people living there, including two babies, making up ten households. Some individuals were living in windowless rooms, unsuitable for residential occupation.
Kahlon had ignored the terms and conditions of his HMO license by overcrowding the property with double the number of tenants he was allowed to house. The council brought the prosecution against him for offences relating to his failure to comply with management regulations of the HMO and one for allowing more occupants or households to live in the property than permitted by the license.
Councillor Jasbir Anand, Cabinet Member for Housing at Ealing Council, says: “We make every effort to ensure residents in the borough have decent living standards and are well protected from greedy slum landlords. Mr. Kahlon showed scant regard for his license conditions and endangered the lives of his tenants in order to make as much money as he could. I have nothing but contempt for his actions and welcome this substantial fine that has been imposed on him, which I hope will be a considerable deterrent to other unscrupulous individuals.”1
The court has enforced a collection order for the fine, demanding Kahlon to pay £25,000 by 27th November and the remaining balance within three months, by 26th February 2016.