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Big fine after landlord found guilty of housing offences

Published on:

22 February 2018

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A landlord has been ordered to pay a total of £22,932.40 in fines and costs after she was found to be running an overcrowded, unlicensed and unsafe house in multiple occupation (HMO)  in Enfield.

• Serrita Baidoo fined £20,000 for operating a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) without a licence and failing to comply with an improvement notice
• Enfield Council prosecuted after discovering an unlicensed and unsafe HMO in Edmonton
• Baidoo was found guilty of two housing offences at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on 01 February and sentenced on 15 February.

A landlord has been ordered to pay a total of £22,932.40 in fines and costs after she was found to be running an overcrowded, unlicensed and unsafe house in multiple occupation (HMO)  in Enfield.

Enfield Council prosecuted Serrita Baidoo, 33, after she repeatedly failed to carry out safety improvements to the property in St Peters Road, Edmonton.

She was found guilty of two offences under the Housing Act 2004 at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,762.40 and a £170 victim surcharge.

The court heard that Enfield Council discovered Berrito was operating an unlicensed five bedroom HMO housing 12 people, including four children on 28 February 2017 after a tip off.

A formal inspection of the building found significant safety hazards including insufficient fire safety equipment and alarm systems, broken central heating, significant damp and signs of mould growth in the property, overcrowding, an inadequate number of plus sockets which encouraged excessive use of extension leads and dumped building and domestic waste in the rear garden.

Enfield Councils’ Cabinet Member for Housing and Housing Regeneration, Cllr Ahmet Oykener, said: “It is completely unacceptable for landlords to house families in conditions like this and we simply will not tolerate it.

“People have the right to live in warm, dry and reasonably spacious homes and the fact that the landlord in this case chose profit over providing good quality living conditions for her tenants is an absolute disgrace.

“I am delighted with the severity of the sentence handed down by the court and I sincerely hope it sends out a strong message that we will halt the provision of criminally poor quality private rental accommodation in this borough.”