Three tenants who sublet a three-bed semi to 35 people fined more than £23,000

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 - Brent Council

Three head tenants who rented out a three-bedroom house to 35 men have been sentenced and ordered to pay more than £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 on 22 February 2018 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 Winchester Avenue, Kingsbury, in September last year (read here).

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

When officers visited the poorly maintained 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.

Brent Council housing prosecution 2018

Cllr Harbi Farah, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, Brent Council said:

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.

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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