A Dagenham man has been ordered to pay thousands in fines after he was found to be renting three properties without a licence.

In Barking and Dagenham, all private landlords must have a licence issued by the council to rent their properties to tenants.

The properties of Gurbachan Matharu were investigated after they were affected by fires that took place in Dagenham last year.

Council officers visited the properties at 4, 4a and 4b Farm Close.

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The case was heard on Tuesday, March 21 at Barkingside Magistrates Court.

Matharu was found guilty in his absence for failure to license a property which requires a property licence under the Housing Act 2004.

The judge ordered Matharu to pay a fine of £5,000, costs to Barking and Dagenham Council of £160 and a victim surcharge of £500.

Councillor Syed Ghani, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: "All landlords who operate in Barking and Dagenham must be registered with the council, so we can ensure that they’re providing good living standards for their tenants.

"We’re more than happy for private landlords to have properties in the borough, but they must follow the rules.

"For those who fail to do so, and rather want to put profit before people, we will investigate and take action if need be."