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Newham landlord arrested and fined over state of properties

A Newham landlord charged with offences relating to letting out properties without a licence failed to show up at hearings.

Newham, in London, is the first local authority in England and Wales to have introduced mandatory licensing of every single private rental property within its borough boundaries.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Mark Graft, 42, of Edgware, north London, who was then remanded in custody.

In court, Graft was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs.

He had let out six flats without a licence, one of which was unfit for human habitation. Graft had initially pleaded not guilty but changed his plea on the day of his trial.

Newham Council officers had found that five of the properties were in poor and dangerous condition, with one being prohibited for human habitation. Graft had taken 11 months to comply with an improvement notice.

Problems had included damp, mould, fire and electrical hazards, including exposed wires, overcrowding, and severely rotten windows.

All of the properties are now licensed under an alternative licence holder.

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