Manor Park landlord fined nearly £40k for breaching letting licence
PUBLISHED: 19:00 04 March 2016
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A landlord has been fined nearly £40,000 for letting a property to four times as many households as her licence allowed.
Judith Korkar Odompleh’s three-bedroom house in Durham Road, Manor Park was inspected in September last year and found to contain four separate households – including a mother and her 14-year-old daughter, a middle-aged couple and two single men.
But Odompleh, 64, of Sunningdale Avenue, Barking, had a licence to house just one family in the property.
She pleaded guilty to 14 offences under the Housing Act 2004 and House of Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006 at Thames Magistrates’ Court last month and was fined £39,240 alongside council costs of £256.41 and a victim surcharge of £120.
Cllr Andrew Baikie, mayoral advisor for housing, said the council will give no quarter to landlords who violate the law.
“Our licensing scheme is designed to protect tenants from landlords like Odompleh who overcrowd their properties in a bid to maximise their profits,” he said.
“This large fine sends a stern warning to other landlords that magistrates are seeing through their stories and have little patience for those who disrespect the law and the council.
“Landlords can try to ignore us but we will not rest until we find out what is happening at their properties and making sure that they are behaving responsibly towards their tenants and their neighbours.”
Newham Council was the first in the country to introduce authority-wide private rented sector licencing in January 2013 to tackle poor housing standards and anti-social behaviour and has prosecuted more than 1,000 landlords for failing to licence their properties correctly or keep them in good condition.
The council has also banned 28 landlords who have multiple housing convictions from managing their property portfolio in the borough.
Odompleh’s case comes as Plaistow councillor Ahmed Noor was accused of letting a property without the correct licence and creating a “hostage situation” by abusing his power to stifle tenants’ complaints.