A LANDLORD and property management firm have been fined £16,000 after ignoring complaints about poor conditions at an unlicensed house.

Colchester Council prosecuted Jide Olugbodi and Saxons Lettings and Management Ltd after receiving complaints from tenants.

The five tenants moved into a property in Albany Gardens, Colchester, in September 2017.

But they experienced a range of problems including the cooker and refrigerator not working, a leak from a shower causing dampness which prevented use of the living room, broken windows, rotten and unsafe decking to the rear garden, and a lack of bins to dispose of waste and recycling.

The court heard tenants had repeatedly raised concerns with Saxons, who managed the property on behalf of Olugbodi, but said nothing was done.

During an inspection of the property an environmental health officer found multiple breaches of house of multiple occupancy management regulations. It also found the property was not licensed.

An application was subsequently made, and Olugbodi has now been issued a licence to operate the property as a HMO.

At Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court Olugbodi admitted failing to license the property and breaching HMO management regulations.

Saxons Lettings and Management Ltd had previously admitted all charges at an earlier hearing.

Olugbodi was ordered to pay more than £6,000 in fines, costs and victim surcharges.

Due to concerns about his financial circumstances he requested to pay over a longer timescale but this was rejected by the court.

Saxons Lettings and Management Ltd was ordered to pay more than £10,000 in fines, costs and victim surcharges.

A spokesman for Saxons Lettings and Management Ltd said: “We accept the judge’s findings.

“The property came under our management without a HMO licence. Within a reasonable time the licence had been acquired.

"We were liaising with the council throughout the process but they still decided to prosecute.”

Mark Cory, leader of the council, said the authority would take any action necessary where landlords or property managers failed to comply with standards.