A STUDENT landlord has been fined after not having the right licences for two houses she was renting out in Durham.

Lisa Chatfield, from Newcastle, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a condition for her licence for a property in St Margarets Garth and not having an HMO licence for one in Nevilledale Terrace.

The 38-year-old had obtained an HMO licence for the house in St Margarets Garth but a routine inspection in July 2014 found it had seven bedrooms –two more than was permitted.

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Despite being advised to see a variation of her licence, further investigations found seven people signed up to live in the property.

She also pleaded guilty to failing to obtain an HMO licence for a house in Nevilledale Terrace. She had previously held one but it expired in April 2016.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard that the safety of the tenants had not been jeopardised and that Chatfield, of Greystoke Gardens, would now be employing a manager to deal with the day-to-day running of the properties.

She was ordered to pay £5,726.47.

Gary Hutchinson, Durham County Council’s environment protection manager, said: “We take our duty to regulate houses of multiple occupancy very seriously and this case should act as a warning to all landlords to ensure they obtain the correct licences.

“Although we know most landlords take their responsibility seriously, having a licence acts as proof of the quality of accommodation being provided and ensures tenants can live in decent and safe homes.”