A LANDLORD has been ordered to pay more than £12,000 after setting up unlicensed and unsafe apartments in a property.

Ryan Antony Otto, director of Otto Investments Ltd of Regent Street London, was fined by Hastings magistrates for failing to licence a house in multiple occupation and failing to comply with two improvement notices issued by Rother District Council.

Otto, 42, converted a two-bedroom house at 38 Barrack Road, Bexhill, into five bedsits and charged tenants between £370 to £470 a month.

In 2018, the landlord was told he must apply for a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licence for the property as it had five tenants, but his application was refused because the council deemed that he was not a fit and proper person.

Otto was advised to reduce the number of tenants or find another person to manage the property but failed to do so.

Following a complaint from a tenant about the condition of the property in March 2021, Rother District Council officers inspected the property and served notices requiring Otto to make repairs and improvement to areas including a unfit toilet/shower article and electrical installation that had not been inspected and tested.

At Hastings Magistrates court on June 14, Otto was fined £6,000 for running an unlicensed HMO and £3,000 for breaching Rother District Council’s improvement notices. 

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £190 and cover the council’s costs which totalled £3,705.

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