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Rogue landlord fined almost £3k for overcrowded house

An unscrupulous landlord who crammed six families into a three-bedroom house has been ordered to pay just under £3,000 by a court.

David Sansom was successfully prosecuted by North West Leicestershire District Council after he turned a property he owns on Waterworks Road in Coalville into a HMO without being licensed.

The landlord, who also lives on Waterworks Road, allowed the families to rent space in the house, without securing consent from the local authority.

Leicester Magistrates Court heard that three families were living in each of the bedrooms, while the ground floor living room had been partitioned to create rooms for two further families.

A sixth family were living in a dangerous loft space.

A spokesman for the district council said: “Environmental Protection Officers from the council made the discovery after a tip off from a member of the public.

“After visiting the home in Waterworks Road they immediately issued an emergency prohibition to prevent the loft from being used as a habitable space.”

Several issues were identified, with 10 offences used in a criminal prosecution against the landlord. This included not having a HMO licence, electrics not being maintained in a safe condition, a lack of adequate fire precautions, obstructions to escape routes with the only exit from the loft being a collapsible ladder, and no fire or smoke alarms in the loft.

Sansom pleaded guilty to seven offences during the hearing.

Magistrates fined Sansom £145 for each offence, totalling £1,015, and ordered him to pay a £30 victim surcharge. He will also pay the council’s £1,911 legal costs.

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