South Ockendon landlord fined over appalling conditions of shared house

A SOUTH Ockendon landlord has been ordered to pay more than £7,000 after failing to provide adequate living conditions for his tenants.

Alex Oladineji Olayinka was found guilty of violating six regulations designed to protect tenants living in a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and failing to undertake remedial works to a property in Foxglove Road, South Ockendon, at a trial at Southend Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday (7 August).

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

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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 in August 2017 uncovered more problems with the property’s condition, including 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. He was also ordered to pay £3,500 in costs, to be awarded to the council, and a £170 victim surcharge.

Cllr Barry Johnson, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “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.”

Concerns about a HMO property can be reported at thurrock.gov.uk/hmo

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