Sub-letting scandal as three head tenants rent out house to 35 men

Three head tenants who sub-let a three bedroom house to 35 men have been hit with over £23,000 in fines.

Gheorghe-Valentin Lingurar and Dragusin Ilie Florin were each fined £9,000 as well as £1,470 in costs and victim surcharges at Willesden Magistrates Court for failure to obtain a HMO licence and failure to respond to Brent council's requests for information as part of their investigations.

They were two of the three tenants who were responsible for cramming 35 men into a semi-detached property in the borough in September last year.

A third defendant, Ana Maria Pricop, received a £1,000 sentence for failing to respond to council officers' requests for information regarding the property. She was also ordered to pay £1,350 in costs and victim surcharges.

When local authority officials visited the house in September last year, they discovered eight men sleeping in one of the rooms decked wall-to-wall with mattresses. 

Even the kitchen contained a sleeping area, while another mattress was found laid out under a canopy in the back garden with no protection against the night temperatures.

"No one should be forced to live in the overcrowded, unsafe and unhygienic conditions that the council discovered these men living in. Poor living standards in the private rented sector are not the norm and Brent council will track down those responsible, be they owners, agents or illegal sub-letters” says a spokesman for the authority.

"We will not tolerate the exploitation of tenants by criminal landlords and subletters and we will continue to prosecute anyone we find breaking the law. It's time that rogue landlords get their house in order or exit the rental market so that those professional landlords who operate in Brent can continue to provide quality, much-needed accommodation."

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    ... enforcing payment might be another thing altogether ?

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    Anybody with no tangible assets is unlikely to be pursued for fines etc. as the cost of recovery far outweighs the original penalty. Blood & Stone come to mind.


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