Rogue landlady lands more than £24,000 in fines as Brent blows away her web of lies
8 May 2019
A rogue landlady, who conned her tenants, her council tax payments and private housing services, has had her web of lies blown away by Brent in court.
Diana Thompson of Barn Way, Wembley, pretended that she was a lodger to her tenants who were renting rooms inside her unlicensed, detached property that was in breach of fire safety regulations.
The two-storey, unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) came to Brent Council Housing Enforcement officers' attention following a tip-off from council tax officers that Ms Thompson was trying to claim a single person's discount when in fact she was living in a home that she was renting out to seven other people.
When licensing enforcement officers raided the property in July last year, Ms Thompson lied by saying that she was a relative of the landlady and that the first floor of the property was owned by another landlord.
But enforcement officers cracked through Ms Thompson's layers of deceit to hold her accountable for failure to licence a HMO and failure to comply with fire safety regulations.
On 25 April, Diana Thompson was ordered to pay fines in total of £20,000 by Willesden Magistrates Court, which included £15,000 for failure to licence and £5,000 for failing to comply with fire safety regulations. She was also ordered to pay a further £4,678 in costs and a £170 victim surcharge.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: "Rogue landlords will not get away with pulling the wool over our eyes. If a landlord or agent is breaking the law, we'll find out and we'll hold them accountable. Our aim is to drive up housing standards by supporting good landlords and enabling vulnerable tenants to be aware of their rights as renters."
If you are a Brent landlord who lets out shared accommodation, you can apply for a licence online at www.brent.gov.uk/prslicensing
If you suspect that someone is renting out an unlicensed property in Brent, please report them anonymously at www.brent.gov.uk/reportaproperty