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Landlord ordered to pay more than £7k for providing substandard property

A buy-to-let landlord in South Ockendon has been ordered to pay more than £7,000 after failing to provide acceptable living conditions for his tenants.

Alex Oladineji Olayinka was found guilty of violating six regulations aimed at protecting tenants living in a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and failing to undertake remedial works at the property on Foxglove Road in South Ockendon, at a trial at Southend Magistrates’ Court.

The court was told that Thurrock Council officers first visited the property in July 2017 when it was occupied by four people who shared a single kitchen and bathroom. Three bedrooms had been converted into five.

Violations included waste water leaking from the bath, live and exposed wiring, a missing heat alarm and mould in the entrance porch and bedrooms.

After failing to resolve these issues and return gas safety and electrical safety certificates, a further inspection was undertaken a month later when more problems with the property’s condition were uncovered.

Major issues included three category one hazards under the housing health and safety rating system.

Requested remedial works were not undertaken and as the tenants wished to remain in the property, the council made the necessary repairs.

Magistrates deemed Olayinka’s lack of action unreasonable and fined him £1,750 for HMO management regulation breaches and £1,750 for failing to comply with the improvement notice.

The landlord was also ordered to pay £3,500 in costs, to be awarded to the council, and a £170 victim surcharge.

Cllr Barry Johnson, Thurrock Council’s cabinet member for housing, commented: “All our residents should have access to a good quality and safe place to live.

“We will not tolerate irresponsible landlords who mismanage their properties and fail to provide acceptable living conditions, and will take all necessary action.

“A new additional licensing scheme in certain parts of Thurrock was introduced earlier this year and is designed to ensure shared homes and flats are properly regulated and comply with national health and safety standards.”

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