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Buy to let owner fined for giving 'fake or misleading' info to council

A landlord has to pay over £16,500 after being found guilty of failing to licence her ex-council flat with the local authority and for providing ‘false or misleading information’. 

Olanrewaju Sharomi was found guilty in December of failing to licence her leasehold flat with Newham Council’s private sector licensing scheme, and for supplying false or misleading information to the council about where she lived.

Magistrates fined her £13,000 for the two offences and ordered her to pay the council’s costs of £3,491 and a victim surcharge of £150.

The council says Sharomi is a registered childminder and has assets of more than £500,000 including other properties; she bought the flat in question through Right to Buy in October 2002. In January 2013 when the council’s private rented sector licensing scheme launched with much publicity Sharomi failed to apply for a licence. 

A council investigation last year found that Sharomi had been letting the two-bedroom flat to a woman and her two children since at least 2008.

To avoid applying for a licence Sharomi claimed she lived at the property, but her tenant gave evidence in court disputing this and council officers discovered that her childcare business was registered to a property in Dagenham. As a result she was found guilty of supplying false or misleading information to the council.

A council spokesman called the landlord’s lies “despicable” and said he wished the courts could take a tougher stance. 

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