Landlord ordered to pay more than £45,000 for renting out unlicensed properties

Our Private Sector Housing team has successfully prosecuted a landlord for renting out two Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) without a licence and failing to comply with HMO Management Regulations.

Mohammed Ammar Hussain of Bennetts End Road, Hemel Hempstead pleaded guilty to offences relating to two separate properties for failure to apply for an HMO licence, plus three offences of failing to comply with management duties in relation to property conditions - this included a lack of working fire alarms. 

On Thursday 15 February, at St Albans Magistrates' Court, Hussain was ordered to pay fines of £13,450, a victim surcharge of £2,000 and £29,856 prosecution costs - a total of £45,306.

The properties in Hemel Hempstead were first discovered in September 2022, when we executed a warrant at three addresses. The investigation found the properties to be operating illegally as HMOs and that there were multiple hazards to residents.  We returned in January 2023 due to the landlord’s failure to submit licence applications. We discovered that two of the properties were still operating as unlicensed HMOs and the landlord had failed to put right all of the hazards.

Councillor Simy Dhyani, our Portfolio Holder for Housing and Property Services, said: "Our Private Sector Housing team play a vital role in making sure Dacorum residents have somewhere safe, warm and secure to live. We recognise that most landlords are responsible and law abiding, caring deeply about providing the highest standards in their home. 

"However, there is a small minority of landlords who choose not to comply with the law and their tenants suffer as a result. I’m very proud of the team for achieving this excellent result on behalf of our residents. It demonstrates our Housing Strategy commitment to championing the provision of safe, warm, and dry homes across the borough and putting our residents at the heart of everything we do."

Since 1 October 2018, any property that has five or more unrelated tenants who share communal facilities requires a mandatory HMO licence. If you operate a property without a licence you could face an unlimited fine or a civil penalty of up to £30,000 per offence.

For further information about HMO licences, including the requirements and how to apply for a licence, please visit our Houses in Multiple Occupation page