A landlord has appeared in court after illegally converting her family home into separate flats – several years after being found guilty of the same offence.
Titilola Oyejole, of Fanshawe Crescent, had split the five-bedroom semi-detached property into two individual flats without planning permission.
Although the 67-year-old had submitted an application to convert the property into a house in multiple occupation (HMO), when Barking and Dagenham Council planning enforcement officers visited the premises, they found Oyejole living in one self-contained flat and tenants occupying another, which was in a rundown condition with dangerous electrics, damp, and a rodent infestation.
The accommodation had been divided by a locked door upstairs in the property.
Oyejole appeared at Barkingside Magistrates Court on Tuesday 12 September and was found guilty on all counts including failing to comply with the requirements of a planning enforcement and failing to comply with two legal notices regarding the condition of the property and the rodent infestation.
It wasn’t the first time in the dock for Oyejole, who several years earlier, in 2016 had been issued an enforcement notice banning the family home being divided into separate accommodation.
At the time, Oyejole ignored the legal notice and later appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court in 2018 where she was fined £200, ordered to pay costs of £4,203 and a £30 victim surcharge. She was also subjected to a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act for £19,784.
Cabinet Member Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: “It really does beggars’ belief that the same person thought they could get away with the same offence, several years later, despite already being caught once.
“Most landlords in our borough are responsible owners who play a valuable part in the puzzle of providing properties for people, however, we will always use all available powers to combat those dodgy landlords who think they can flout the rules and do as they please.”
After the hearing at Barkingside Magistrates Court, the council confirmed it planned to take further action to once again to recover Oyejole’s criminally gained proceeds. As a result, she was committed to Snaresbrook Crown Court on unconditional bail awaiting a sentence and a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.
All privately rented properties in Barking and Dagenham require a licence. Find out more at www.lbbd.gov.uk/private-sector-housing/licensing.