Letting agent Olympia Estates Ltd has been ordered to pay out £25,000 for illegally operating two properties, following a long-running investigation by a London Council.
The Paddington-based letting agent didn’t apply for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence on the two properties and was found to be trying to evade the licensing process.
The two homes in Star Street, close to the company’s office, were required to be licensed due to the number of people living there.
Some of the rooms were undersized and one of the homes had a gas leak, which required the attention of the gas supply regulators.
Following an investigation by Westminster City Council’s Housing Standards Taskforce Olympia Estates Ltd was ordered by a tribunal to pay a Civil Penalty Notice of £15,000 regarding one of the properties.
With the second property, the agent settled with the council outside the tribunal for the sum of £10,000.
A further £5,000 was awarded to the council at a separate hearing brought by the council’s Trading Standards team as the company had also broken consumer law by failing to display full details of its agent fees on its website.
Councillor Ian Adams, cabinet member for public protection and licensing said: “Rogue landlords and letting agents are unwelcome in Westminster and we will crack down hard on anyone found to be flouting the rules.
“Our residents deserve safe and decent housing and hopefully a fine will send a clear message to the industry about how seriously we take this issue.”