A tenant in north London has been caught illegally subletting an unlicensed bungalow, and has subsequently been fined £20,000 for several offences, as well as £6,520 in court fees.
The council has described this bungalow in Brent as a “death trap”.
Petru Dregan was found guilty by Willesden Magistrates Court of offenses including the breaking of housing management regulations and neglecting to protect the safety of the other tenants he was taking money from. The property was also unlicensed.
The property was raided by Brent’s licensing enforcement team earlier this year, which featured in an episode of Paul Shamplina’s Channel 5 programme, ‘Bad Tenants, Rogue Landlords’. It exposed the conditions within to be riddled with damp and mould, windows and doors had been blocked off, and smoke alarms covered up.
A combination of makeshift bunk beds provided sleeping areas for ten men in a room that was only suitable for two people.
Councillor Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, has said: “The court’s decision is a positive result for renters in Brent who have a right to safe and decent living conditions. In a poorly managed property like this one, people’s lives are at stake.
“Landlords, agents and sub-letters who ignore licensing laws and the regulations around housing management will be hit hard with heavy fines.”
According to one of the occupants in the bungalow, they were paying £50 a week to stay in the accommodation.
Brent Council has recently extended selective licensing to all privately rented properties in Dudden Hill, Kensal Green, Kilburn, Mapesbury and Queen’s Park. This came into effect 1st June.
Brent landlords who are currently letting out shared accommodation, or looking to do so, can apply for a licence online at www.brent.gov.uk/prslicensing.