A landlord has been ordered to pay £25,151.92 after being found guilty of breaching safety and licensing rules.
Landlord Ordered to Pay £25,000 for Breaching Safety and Licensing Rules
Emmil Seeson Watson (also known as Emil Wayne Watson) of Reading, Berkshire pleaded guilty at Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court to five charges under the Housing Act 2004.
Watson did not have the required license for the amount of tenants living in his rental property and did not conduct gas safety checks.
On 8th October 2014, environmental health officers from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea visited Watson’s rental property in London W10, after tenants complained about a leaking roof. The renters could not have the roof repaired, as they were unable to contact Watson.
Up to seven tenants were living in the house, despite Watson not having a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) license, which is required under the Housing Act 2004.
The Court was told that Watson had avoided cooperation with the council and had made it very difficult for it to contact him. Despite two previous warnings, Watson did not obtain the required license.
Since 2012, three emergencies had occurred at the property, including a leak that caused a ceiling to collapse and a window that needed repair after a burglary. Tenants were forced to complain to the emergency services and the council, as Watson could not be contacted.
Watson told the Court that if he licensed the property, he would have to increase the rents. However, some rents had stayed the same for many years. He also claimed to have paid several bills for the property out of the rents he collected.
He said that he would not replace the tenants that have left, therefore reducing the amount of people living at the property and removing the need for a license.
However, the Bench Chairman said that Watson had put his tenants in danger and failed to follow clear warnings regarding the licensing of the property.