Quote Ref: WS1

Head tenant fined £26k for subletting ‘death trap’ property

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A tenant who was sub-letting to – and ripping off - other tenants in an overcrowded bungalow in Wembley, London, has been fined over £26,000.

On 17 July 2018, Petru Dregan was found guilty at Willesden Magistrates Court of:

  • breaking housing management regulations;
  • neglecting to protect the safety of tenants from whom he was taking money; and,
  • failing to licence the property in which they were living.

The property in The Drive, Wembley, was raided by Brent's licensing enforcement team earlier this year and was featured in a recent episode of Channel 5's primetime show, Bad Tenants, Rogue Landlords.

The programme exposed the ‘death trap ‘conditions inside the bungalow including, windows and doors having been blocked off; damp and mould caking the walls; smoke alarms being covered up.

The floors of the living room, dining room and even the pantry were covered in mattresses. Makeshift bunkbeds made out of wood offcuts, pallets and tarpaulins enabled ten men to share one bedroom originally designed for two people.

Mr Dregan was fined £20,000 for these offences as well as being ordered to pay £6,520 in court costs.

This comes at a time when HMO regulations are due to change to better protect tenants - from 1 October, government changes include that any property rented out to five or more unrelated people must be issued with a mandatory HMO licence, as well as minimum floor sizes being set.

If you are an HMO landlord, you can get an HMO insurance quote here as well as request your free Guide to HMO insurance.