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A Thurrock landlord has been fined £2,252 after failing to license her property and failing to provide acceptable living conditions for her tenants.
Rogue landlord Adeola Makinde was found guilty of failing to licence her rental property in Norfolk Place, Chafford Hundred. The property required a house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence. A trial at Basildon Magistrates Court last week lead to Makinde being prosecuted for her failure to sort this out.
The court was told that Thurrock Council had been requesting a HMO licence application from Makinde since 2014. However, no application was made.
An inspection in July 2017 revealed that the property contained 12 people living in four rooms as well as sharing a single kitchen. It also found that there were inadequate fire safety measures and a number of issues with the condition of the property which rendered it unfit for human habitation. The overcrowded nature of the property could have endangered the health of the tenants who lived inside as well as causing severe problems if a fire were to start and the residents needed to escape.
Makinde pleaded not guilty to the charge of failing to licence the HMO, three breaches of HMO management regulations, failing to return information about the house and failing to return documents. However, magistrates deemed her actions were unreasonable and therefore found her guilty of all six charges.
Councillor responsible for Thurrock housing, Barry Johnson, said: ‘We believe everyone should have a good quality place to live and will continue to take action against those landlords who fail to ensure their properties are safe, well managed and properly licensed. We are currently consulting on a proposed new additional licensing scheme which would mean more landlords who own shared houses and flats have to comply with national health and safety standards and local criteria.’