Landlord added to national rogue database after judge upholds HMO conviction – LandlordZONE

A rogue landlord has failed in his attempt to overturn a prosecution for managing an unlicensed HMO – ending up with a much bigger legal bill.

Frank Otuo, 51, of Oxford Road, Putney, had been ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £3,750 earlier this year after Lambeth Council discovered more than five tenants living at his property in Leigham Court Road, Streatham, between July 2019 and January 2020. The tenants had been paying £4,240 rent a month.

Otuo had sought to appeal against his conviction and sentence at Croydon Crown Court but on the first day, abandoned the appeal against his conviction.

Instead, the court heard his appeal relating to the sentence, but the judge decided not to alter the original magistrates’ court decision and ordered Otuo to pay the council’s additional costs of £4,000. He will now be added to the national rogue landlord database.

Unscrupulous

Councillor Maria Kay (pictured), Lambeth’s cabinet member for better homes and reducing homelessness, says: “Unscrupulous landlords who put profit ahead of their tenants’ safety and wellbeing will not be tolerated in our borough and I welcome the court’s decision.

“It is important to recognise the tireless work of the council’s teams in ensuring this was uncovered. This prosecution shows that Lambeth Council takes unlicensed HMOs very seriously and will pursue those in breach to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our residents.”

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