Merton Council successfully prosecuted a rogue landlord and his associated property agency for letting unsafe properties and operating in a completely unlicensed manner, securing fines and costs in excess of £33,000.
Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court heard the case against Pedro Reis Tenajas and London Corporate Relocation Ltd on Tuesday 21 September. Neither Mr Tenajas – who was fined £22,000 by Tower Hamlets in 2019 for issuing sham licenses – nor his co-defendant attended.
In their absence, the court heard from Merton’s legal team how the defendants had failed to apply for the correct license to rent out 11 Braemar Avenue, Wimbledon Park as a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
Further charges were made that they had failed to legally act as landlords, had not provided information to the property’s occupiers, and had now carried out the legally required safety measures for an HMO.
Magistrates found the case to be proven against Mr Tenajas and noted that the failings were extremely serious, and had potentially put lives at risk. They also said the company had been uncooperative and obstructive, and had provided no company accounts.
London Corporate Relocation was ordered to pay fines and costs amounting to £21,750 to be paid within 28 days, while Mr Tenajas was slapped with a total of £11,530 to pay in the same time span, with a collection order applied to him.
Councillor Martin Whelton, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and the Climate Emergency, said: “We’re delighted to have secured this successful prosecution against Mr Tenajas and London Corporate Relocation, especially in light of their track record as dangerous, rogue landlords.
“Merton will continue to aggressively pursue such cases through the courts and take tough action against landlords who wilfully flout the law. I would like to thank our housing enforcement and legal teams for all their hard work in this and other cases.”