A Leytonstone landlord has been prosecuted and ordered to repay over £5,000 to his tenants for renting an unlicensed House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO).
Mohammed Shah Kamal Ahmed was found guilty of renting the property at 875a Leyton High Road to multiple tenants without a license at Thames Magistrates' Court on 25 November 2016. Following his successful prosecution two tenants were assisted by Waltham Forest's tenants' advocacy service Cambridge House to claim back £3,755.16 and £1,741.66 respectively.
Landlords of unlicensed rental properties in Waltham Forest are likely to face Rent Repayment Orders (RROs) as Cambridge House can assist tenants to apply to the Residential Property Tribunal to claim their rent back, up to a maximum of twelve months' time period.
A council spokesperson said, "Unlicensed landlords put their tenants' lives at risk. If your landlord is not licensed you may not be safe as the property will not meet expected safety standards. There may not be a fire escape, safety equipment may not be thoroughly checked, or the electrics may not be up to standard.
"We target the rogue landlords who put their tenants' lives at risk, and our message is clear: if you do not have a license, we will find you, we will prosecute you, and we will assist your tenants to claim back the money they have paid you. The safety of our residents is our primary concern - we will always seek the maximum penalties for anyone who endangers them."
If you think your landlord may not have a license, or have concerns about your private rental property, you can contact the council's Licensing Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org