Landlord fined £268k after cramming tenants into flats: Keralite landlords or second home owners too in spotlight
By A Staff Reporter LONDON May 17: A landlord in London was fined £268,000 after cramming up to 12 people in south London apartments meant for just eight. The Asian landlord squished seven flats into a building with planning permission for only six by slicing one of the apartments in half, My London reported. Reports say that the flats were so cramped as a result of his alterations that five didn’t have any storage space and all but one of them were below the legal size for a house in England. Southwark Council launched an investigation after neighbours complained about noise from parties held by those staying in the flats. This brings to the spotlight of another issue which is brewing within the Keralite community following the influx of students in the UK. Keralite landlords or second home owners also have to be careful as there are several complaints already filed by students to the respective local authorities for breach of agreement and also for fleecing rental money or withholding deposit money from them. Many Keralite students who have spoken to this website has stated that they are cramped in rooms with living conditions not conducive or money not worth for what they are paying for. The lack of student lets are leading them in desperation to pay for whatever they can get to live. Allegations of landlords cheating students of rental money or deposit money is also rife with several already making contacts with this website for help. These type of complaints can lead to scrutiny of such practices by landlord and may lead to stringent fines. One student who spoke to this website on condition of anonymity stated that the landlord, who is a Keralite, is not returning his deposit money in spite of repeated requests. When it comes to making official complaint its is alarming to note that many students do not have a proper licence agreement or a tenancy agreement. Thus there are no proofs to substantiate what was agreed at the onset. This leads to several issues for community representatives who try to find an amicable solution to the issues faced by students. When asked on why these students never bothered to get it all documented the only finding was that they didn't want to offset the landlord and therefore never asked for agreements and agreed to what they said as securing an accommodation is like hitting a jackpot when they initially arrive in the UK. The landlords too are aware of the situation. Although this doesn't apply to all landlords but there are several who are flouting the rules. Do you know a landlord who is causing you trouble. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you bring to the attention of others so that they don't fall victim to this landlord. Thus you will be helping to save others from such pitfalls. What is Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) If you let your property to several tenants who are not members of the same family, it may be a ‘House in Multiple Occupation’ (HMO). Your property is an HMO if both of the following apply: at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than one household toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared A household consists of either a single person or members of the same family who live together. It includes people who are married or living together and people in same-sex relationships. Licences An HMO must have a licence if it is occupied by 5 or more people. A council can also include other types of HMOs for licensing. Find out if you need an HMO licence from your council.