A rogue landlord has been fined in excess of £20,000 after renting a single house out to three separate families.
Veli Bunul was prosecuted at Basildon Magistrates Court for letting an unlicensed and poorly-maintained house in Waltham Abbey classed as a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
During a visit to Bunul’s property in Tillingham Court, officers from Epping Forest Council found 11 people, including young children, were living in the three-storey property in crowded conditions, with all sharing a single kitchen and two bathrooms.
A number of safety violations were found in the rental property, including inadequate fire precautions or a safe means of escape in the event of an emergency.
The court heard that Bunul, of Chase Side, Canary Wharf, had previously ignored warnings from the council about his responsibilities to make the property safe.
Banul pleaded his innocence, insisting that he did not know the property was being occupied by several families, as someone else collected rent on his behalf. But this claim was rejected by the court.
The magistrates fined him £21,575 for failing to comply with property licensing rules.
Epping Forest Council housing portfolio holder, Cllr Syd Stavrou said: “We will not tolerate landlords who rent properties which fail to meet standards.
“The council has a commitment to ensure that private landlords in the Epping Forest district do not take financial advantage of vulnerable tenants and put their lives at risk.
“We will not hesitate to prosecute landlords who show a disregard for the law and their responsibilities towards occupants.”