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Posted on August 27th 2015 by admin-movingin

Landlord who failed to license HMOs is hit with £75,000 bill

A landlord has been hit with costs of £75,215 after failing to license four HMOs and comply with various notices.

Gunapalan Vamathevan, of Acton in west London, received fines for nine offences at Ealing Magistrates’ Court.

He was ordered to pay court costs of £5,395 and a victim surcharge of £120, on top of a fine of almost £70,000.

Cllr Ranjit Dheer, cabinet member for safety, culture and community services at Ealing Council, said: “This case is a significant result against an unscrupulous landlord who has previously been prosecuted by the council for his disregard of licensing regulations.

“We make every effort to ensure residents in our borough are well protected and have decent living standards. We take a tough line against anyone who deliberately flouts the law and Mr Vamathevan has quite rightly been given a very heavy penalty for his prolonged and intentional illegal behaviour.”

The successful prosecution was brought following an investigation into reports that the properties were being operated as unlicensed HMOs.

A warrant of entry was executed on the three properties in June 2014, where council officers also found breaches relating to the management of the HMOs.

Subsequent notices were served in relation to the condition of the properties, including prohibition orders under section 20 of the Housing Act 2004 for dangerous staircases, and improvement notices relating to serious hazards.

An inspection of a fourth property also found it to be operating as an unlicensed HMO.

A subsequent prohibition order was made for a hazardous staircase and an improvement notice was also served on Vamathevan relating to lack of fire safety in the property.

Numerous HMO licensing application forms along with warning letters were sent to Vamathevan, but no applications were submitted for the properties. Further inspections by officers found that the required works under the improvement notices had not been carried out and the prohibition orders had been breached.

In February this year Vamathevan submitted the HMO licence applications, after prosecution for the offences had begun.