Head tenant of “death trap” bungalow fined £20,000 by court
A renter who was ripping off other tenants in an overcrowded bungalow “death trap” was fined £20,000 at Willesden Magistrates 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 licence the property in which they were living.
On 17 July, Mr Dregan was fined £20,000 for these offences and 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.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, 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.”
One of the occupants of the bungalow told enforcement officers that he was paying £50 a week to live there.
Brent Council has extended selective licensing to all privately rented properties in Dudden Hill, Kensal Green, Kilburn, Mapesbury and Queen’s Park.
From 1 October, government changes will require any property rented out to five or more unrelated people to be issued with a mandatory HMO licence.
If you are a Brent landlord who lets out shared accommodation, you can apply for a licence online atwww.brent.gov.uk/prslicensing
If you suspect that someone is renting out an unlicensed property in Brent, please report them anonymously atwww.brent.gov.uk/reportaproperty