01 Sep 23

An unlicensed landlord has been ordered to pay back almost £15,000 in rent to his tenants after they were forced to live in “dangerous and disgusting conditions”.

When officers from Barking and Dagenham council visited the privately-owned two-bed flat in Dagenham they found a catalogue of problems including damp and mould throughout the property and only one functioning heater.

It also had no working smoke alarms, the kitchen cupboards were all broken, the oven plug had been secured using duct tape, there was an exposed light in the bathroom, and a severe infestation of bed bugs.

The flat’s landlord, Kehinde Wilson Gbadegesin of Greenwich, was charging £1,200 per month for the former local authority flat. However, he had already been fined over £11,000 in February this year after failing to carry out improvements and failing to register for a private rented property license.

Now a tribunal judge has ordered Gbadegesin to pay back rent for the period between February 2022 and January 2023 – totalling £14,400 – as well as a pay a further £300 to cover the costs of his tenant’s application and the hearing fee.

Councillor Syed Ghani, on behalf of the council, says: “No one should be left to live in dangerous and disgusting conditions such as those faced by these tenants, so I am pleased to hear this rogue landlord will be made to pay back every penny he unscrupulously took from them. 

“Our private rented property licensing scheme is there to improve standards for all, and I hope this sends a strong message that we will continue to take action against the small minority who think they can flout the rules and do as they please.”

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