Rogue letting agent and company fined £30,000
Crown Managed Properties Ltd and its director Elliot Gambino, 28, of Girdlestone Walk, London, were fined a total of £30,000 at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on Thursday, 7 February 2019 for failing to licence three homes in multiple occupation (HMOs) in Camden.
Crown Managed Properties Ltd gave sham ‘lodger agreements’ to tenants at unlicensed properties in Camden Road, Penshurst (Marsden Street) and Welford Court (Castlehaven Road). Advertising ‘rent to rent’ rooms on Spareroom.com, one tenant was placed in a tiny room with no satisfactory means of escape. There was also inadequate fire detection within all three flats - items that would have been addressed had the properties been licensed with Camden Council.
Camden Council had carried out early morning raids in Autumn 2018 following a complaint about poor management of a HMO.
The court considered 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.
Councillor 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.”