An agency and its director have been fined a total of £30,000 for failing to license three properties in multiple occupation.
Officers from Camden Council, in London, carried out early morning raids last autumn following complaints.
As a result, Crown Managed Properties and director Elliot Gambino were fined at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court.
The court heard that Crown gave ‘sham lodger agreements’ to tenants at the unlicensed properties, and advertised ‘rent to rent’ properties on the Spareroom website.
One tenant was placed in a tiny room with no satisfactory means of escape, and there was inadequate fire detection in all three flats.
The court considered that the letting agency had made a healthy profit and took into account the state of the flats.
Each defendant was fined £15,000 (£5,000 per offence) and each ordered to pay costs.
Cllr Meric Apak, cabinet member for better homes at Camden Council, said: “We will not allow a minority to spoil it for most landlords and lettings agents who play by the rules and ensure they are running a properly licensed HMO property.
“We work with them in turn to ensure the property is properly maintained for the good of its tenants.”
According to Companies House, Crown Managed Properties was incorporated in October 2017 and a compulsory strike-off action was suspended earlier this month.