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Letting agent must pay £6,000 because of HMO failings

An Oxfordshire letting agent has been ordered to pay £3,500 and costs of £2,700 for letting a house in multiple occupation in excess of the licensed number of people and in disrepair.

Carl Afilaka, from Bicester, runs Christopher Stanley Letting Agents and manages an HMO that he is believed to own in Oxford; local council officers found it to be in breach of housing laws.

When the officers inspected the property, which was licensed for five people, they found 11 people in the house, including a family with two young children living in one room. Concerns about the property were reported to the council last July by a local councillor.

The officers also found that a number of HMO licence conditions had not been completed by 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.

Afilaka initially pleaded not guilty to the charges at an earlier hearing and he failed to attend Oxford magistrate’s court earlier this month; magistrates chose to proceed with the case and he was found guilty in his absence.

This is the sixth case this year in which Oxford council has prosecuted an HMO landlord leading to total fines of £39,000.

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