A rogue landlord glued tenant's locks and cut off utilities
A rogue landlord who illegally rented out an overcrowded bedsit before waging a campaign of harassment against the tenants when they complained has been banned from renting out properties again.
Balazs Stalter rented out a property in Longmead Road, Tooting, to five sub-lets after turning the living room and dining room into bedsits. He had not received planning consent to make the changes and failed to register the property as a Home in Multiple Occupation.
When some of his tenants complained, Stalter tampered with their water, gas, and electricity supplies – and glued up their locks.
He even posted fake and negative online reviews of the company owned by the family of one of his tenants, for which he received a police warning.
In court, Stalter produced a tenancy agreement which contained the signature of one his tenants “confirming” that the room he rented was not his permanent residence.
However, the tenant in question had returned to his native New Zealand by the time the agreement was “signed”. The document was fraudulent and the signature forged.
Stalter was fined £1,858 and ordered to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £2,089 plus a victim surcharge of £170. He was also banned from operating as a landlord. Last week he appealed his conviction, but it was thrown out of Kingston Crown Court when the tenant whose signature was forged testified from New Zealand that he had never seen the document in question and had never signed it.
Wandsworth’s cabinet member for housing Cllr Kim Caddy said: “By his own disgraceful and unacceptable behavior Mr. Stalter has shown he is an unfit person to be a landlord. I’m delighted we’ve been able to take concerted action in the courts to not only secure justice for his tenants but to prevent him victimising any others in the future.”
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