A head tenant who changed the locks on a property that was illegally sublet to 35 men has been jailed for 16 weeks.
Ilie Florin Dragusin bolted the men out of a converted three-bedroom semi-detached house after the property was raided by Brent Council’s enforcement team in September last year.
Mr Dragusin was one of three head tenants at the property in Winchester Avenue, Kingsbury, where 35 tenants were found to be living in substandard conditions in an unlicensed HMO.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: “This custodial sentence sends a strong message to anyone thinking that they can get away with illegally evicting their tenants. The punishment is prison. We will help people in the private rented sector who are suffering from the actions of rogue landlords, subletters and agents.”
Mr Dragusin, who was living with his parents in Edgeware before being taken into custody on 19 June, ignored four sets of warnings by enforcement officers not to change the locks on the property. Willesden Magistrates Court heard how he showed no regard for the people he had locked out after removing their belongings from their home.
The custodial sentence is the second jail term that Brent Council has seen brought against a person for unlawful eviction since licensing came into force at the end of 2015.
Watch the Brent enforcement raid on overcrowded semi – 19th September 2017
If you are a Brent landlord who lets out shared accommodation, you can apply for a licence online at www.brent.gov.uk/prslicensing
If you suspect that someone is renting out an unlicensed property in Brent, please report them anonymously at www.brent.gov.uk/reportaproperty