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Rental Property Overcrowded

A landlord has been fined £11,000 for overcrowding his rental property and putting his tenants’ lives at risk. The London Borough of Hillingdon prosecuted Javeed Hossain for crowding too many tenants into his rental property in Harlington. The three-storey house of multiple occupation (HMO) also lacked the correct fire safety measures.

Hillingdon Borough Council carried out an initial investigation of the HMO rental property which led to Hossain being ordered to carry out a number of measures. These included limiting the number of tenants to a maximum of six, obtaining an HMO licence and installing a fire alarm system.

A further visit to the HMO rental property was carried out by council officers to ensure that the improvement work had been carried out. They found that the landlord had crammed no fewer than ten tenants into the property and had failed to install the fire safety system.

Last month, Hossain was found guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates Court of failing to comply with his Housing Act HMO Property licence. He received a total fine of £11,000 and a victim surcharge of £120. In addition, Hillingdon Borough Council was awarded full costs of £884.

Keith Burrows, Hillingdon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Transportation and Recycling, called Hossain “an unscrupulous landlord” who “put his tenants’ lives at risk”.

Councillor Burrows continued: “He put his greed before their welfare by cramming too many people into the house and pocketing the rent. I am pleased that the courts have imposed such a heavy fine on Mr Hossain, reflecting the seriousness of his offences.”

Cambridge Letting Agent Victor Jameson of New View Residential commented: “This kind of behaviour really makes me sick. The landlord was playing with people’s lives and even after being caught out he continued on as before.

“A fine of £11,000 is very little really. What does this represent? Probably little more than two months’ rent. He will make this money back very quickly. I really believe that it is about time that we had legislation to ban some landlords from owning and managing rental property. This kind of behaviour is on a similar level to drink driving.”

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