An Oxford landlord was ordered to pay £3,500 and costs of £2,700 for renting a house in multiple occupation (HMO) over the licensed number of people and in disrepair.
Mr Carl Afilaka, who is 48 years old and lives in Siskin Road, Bicester runs Christopher Stanley Letting Agents. He manages a house in Multiple Occupation in Newman Road Oxford which Council Officers found to be in breach of housing laws.
Officers from the Council’s HMO Enforcement Team inspected the property, which was licensed for five people and found 11 people in the house, including a family with two young children living in one room.
Concerns about conditions in the property were reported to the Council in July 2015 by a local councillor.
The Leader of the Council, Cllr Bob Price said “ The sorts of conditions in which these tenants were living are unacceptable and are likely to badly affect their health. Private sector rents are very high in Oxford and landlords should not break the law by failing to maintain their properties in good condition. The City Council will not hesitate to take legal action against landlords and agents who just collect high rents whilst failing to repair and maintain their properties . The expected standards are very clear; they simply need to be observed.”
The officers also found that a number of HMO licence conditions had not been completed by Mr Afilaka. The bathroom was extremely damp and exhibited a lot of mould that could not be easily cleansed. There were draughty rotten wooden framed windows and an insecure back door. The kitchen was in disrepair and the garden was full of rubbish.
Mr Afilaka initially pleaded not guilty to the charges at an earlier hearing and he failed to attend Oxford Magistrate’s Court on 3 May 2016. The Magistrates chose to proceed with the case and he was found guilty in his absence.
This is the sixth case this year in which the City Council has successfully prosecuted a poor HMO landlord leading to total fines of £39,000.