A NURSERY worker’s rental property was taken over by around 20 “hot bedding” shift workers, a court heard.

Wiltshire Council took Siddika Begum to court, saying she was responsible for an illegal HMO and had lied to council staff about who was living at the property.

The 29-year-old pre-school worker admitted the charges but claimed she had been forced out by an ever increasing number of tenants.

Prosecutor Andrew Kamosa, for Wiltshire Council, told Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Friday that up to 20 people had been living at the three-bedroom terraced house in Hawthorn Close, Salisbury.

He suggested those living at the house, who included children, had been sharing beds on a rotational basis.

Mr Kamosa said: “They are Romanian shift workers and they may have been hot bedding – men, women and children. Not only that but they were living in quite squalid conditions.

“The local authority was never allowed into the property but the police have been in there on several occasions and observed the amount of people living in the property.”

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The property in Hawthorn Close, Salisbury Picture: GOOGLE

Council staff had picked up flytipped letters addressed to people living at the house. The prosecutor said: “At one point there were up to 147 parking fines.”

Magistrates were told that Begum lied to council staff last April, claiming she and two friends were living at the property.

As the landlord, she had failed to register the property as a house under multiple occupation or provide the council with paperwork including electrical test certificates and a fire risk assessment.

Addressing the justices via the video link, Begum said her dad had been approached by a friend. “He said look, I’ve got this family who need somewhere to stay. At the time I was sort of living in and out of the property as well as my parents’ house, which is just across the road.”

Begum said the family could stay with her. They were nice at first but “things just escalated really, really quickly,” she said.

She added: “There were just so many people living there and they kind of just kicked me out of my house.” She acknowledged she should have called the police.

In the past year, her father had had his leg amputated. He later died. Her mother suffered from health issues.

Begum, of Hawthorn Close, admitted giving false information to the local authority, managing an HMO without a licence and failing to comply with HMO regulations.

She was fined £3,014 and ordered to pay £1,223 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

Chairman of the bench Jonathan Furlonger said: “We felt that the offences were aggravated by the length of time they had been going on, the multiple offences and the distress that has obviously been caused to other residents of Hawthorn Close.”