News

Head tenant convicted after subletting a death trap bungalow to 10 people in Wembley

Thursday, August 2, 2018 - Brent Council

A head tenant who was ripping off other tenants in an overcrowded "death trap" bungalow has been fined tens of thousands of pounds in court.

Willesden Magistrates Court found Petru Dregan guilty of breaking housing management regulations, neglecting to protect the safety of tenants from whom he was taking money and failing to license the property in which they were living. On 17 July, Mr Dregan was fined £20,000 for these offences as well as being ordered to pay £6,520 in court costs.

Brent's licensing enforcement team raided the property in The Drive, Wembley, earlier this year. The raid recently featured in a recent episode of Channel 5's primetime show, Bad Tenants, Rogue Landlords which exposed the conditions inside as a "death trap".

Damp and mould caked the walls, windows and doors had been blocked off and smoke alarms had been covered up. Mattresses littered the floors of the living room, dining room and even the pantry. Makeshift bunkbeds made out of wood offcuts, pallets and tarpaulins enabled ten men to share one bedroom originally designed for two people.

Brent Council housing prosecution 2018. Credit: Channel 5

Photo credit: Channel 5

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, Brent Council 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 subletters who ignore licensing laws and the regulations around housing management will be hit hard with heavy fines."

One of the occupants of the bungalow told enforcement officers that he was paying £50 a week to live there.

Brent Council recently extended selective licensing to all privately rented properties in Dudden Hill, Kensal Green, Kilburn, Mapesbury and Queen's Park.

There are four different licensing schemes operating in Brent and so it is important to study the details carefully and obtain the correct licence

For more information about the mandatory HMO, additional and selective licensing schemes in Brent visit www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/brent

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