Two letting agents hit with huge costs over unlicensed HMO properties

Two letting agents have been hit with huge costs over six properties that were unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupation.

The homes, in Grays, Essex, were bought by Mews Investments, trading as Griffins Residential.

They were let to MEO Lettings and Management, which then let the rooms individually.

Thurrock Council officers visited the properties and found that they were unlicensed HMOs, and were also overcrowded and not meeting standards.

At Colchester Magistrates Court, Mews Investments and director Alan Webb pleaded guilty to six charges of failing to licence HMOs.

Webb was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £5,011 in costs plus a £100 victim surcharge. His company Mews Investments was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £1,180 in costs plus a £100 victim surcharge.

Peter Guzmicky, of MEO Lettings and Management, also pleaded guilty to the six charges.

Both he and his company were each fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £1,180 in costs plus a £50 victim surcharge.

Barry Johnson, councillor for housing at Thurrock, said: “These two companies are well-established letting agents in the borough and should have been well aware of their licensing responsibilities.

“This prosecution sends a very clear message that we will not tolerate landlords and letting agents flouting the rules.”

The six properties are all now licensed.

https://www.thurrockgazette.co.uk/news/17289017.letting-agents-fined-after-putting-tenants-at-unnecessary-risk-by-overcrowding-and-failing-to-licence-shared-houses/

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5 Comments

  1. new life

    A joke the fine doesnt match the crime probably two months renal income wheres the incentive to not do it again ???

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    1. qweasdzxc

      They could still be hit with RROs

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  2. Richard Tacagni

    There is no limit to the level of fine that the court can award. Had the council decided to impose a civil penalty, it could have been up to £30,000 per property that was unlicensed. If anything, I would say these agents got off lightly, due in part to their guilty plea.

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  3. DarrelKwong43

    simply not a deterrent …higher fines please

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  4. jeremy1960

    Yet again, local authorities using the wrong route! Housing and Planning Act 2016 is a far more efficient route, civil penalties are higher and agents and landlords are equally culpable.  Using H & P 2016 could have resulted in fines up to £30,000, banning orders, rogue agent/landlord register , rent repayment orders………..

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