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Landlord ordered to pay more than £21,000 after council prosecutes him for unlicensed house in multiple occupation

A private landlord operating an unlicensed and overcrowded property in Kensal Green has been told to pay more than £21,000 in fines and costs by Willesden Magistrates' Court.

Brent Council said the property was the subject of numerous complaints from neighbours concerning anti-social behaviour at the unlicensed HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) in Holland Road, NW10.

The council's Private Housing Services Team initially sent several letters to Mr Muhammad Ilyas asking him to take the appropriate action concerning the property and his tenants.

Following a visit to the property in June 2019, officers advised Mr Ilyas to apply for an appropriate property licence.

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“Despite being given ample opportunity, he failed to obtain the licence, and Private Housing Services pursued enforcement action against him,” Brent said.

“At the same time, council officers provided advice to the tenants on what options were available to them, should the landlord decide to evict them.”

The defendant pleaded guilty to five separate offences. Willesden Magistrates' Court fined Mr Ilyas a total of £21,115.50, including a prosecutions cost of £3,925.00 and a victim surcharge of £190. 

The Magistrate stated the duration of the different offences, the vulnerable people in the property, and the amount of money Mr Ilyas had made, were all aggravating factors. 

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent’s Cabinet Member for Housing & Welfare Reform, said: "This should serve as a reminder to private landlords who think they can operate unlicensed and overcrowded properties without any consequences. Sadly, it has proved an expensive lesson for the landlord concerned in this particular case. He did, however, continually ignore all the advice, help and warnings given to him.

"I'm pleased the Magistrates' Court recognised the seriousness of the offences and that Mr Ilyas' neighbours will no longer have to put up with the constant anti-social behaviour and noise from this property."

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