Willesden Green slum landlord fined more than £60k for making tenants' lives a misery
PUBLISHED: 18:52 27 June 2019
A rogue Willesden Green landlord has been ordered to pay £60,170 and £6k court costs making it the council's biggest fine to date.
Hugo Pulqueiro, of Park Avenue, was given the massive penalty after being found guilty of making tenants' lives a misery through licensing breaches.
Brent Council were onto Pulqueiro after seeing a video filmed by one of his evicted tenants who'd found her belongings damaged outside the flat in the High Road on a freezing February day.
Officers said Pulqueiro sent in the "heavies" to remove the victim's belongings and change the locks after she complained of the deteriorating conditions inside the overcrowded flat she shared with six others in Willesden.
The "slum landlord" had created a partition wall down the middle of two single rooms to create four illegal micro rooms that he then rented out to more tenants, the council said.
He failed to give his tenants written agreements, depriving them of their rights, and sent over different strangers to collect their rent in cash at irregular times during the week.
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His tenants told officers that they had never even met him and that they didn't know how many people had keys to their home.
Pulqueiro neglected to protect his tenants' deposits, failed to meet fire safety regulations and ignored his responsibility to maintain the property to a liveable standard.
He was found guilty of multiple licensing breaches at Willesden Magistrates on June 13.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent's housing chief, said: "This is an absolutely shocking case and it's appalling that Mr Pulqueiro believed he could get away with such gross mistreatment of his tenants.
"No renter in Brent should be forced to endure what these tenants went through. We will never stop fighting for decent living conditions and are using our licensing schemes to drive up standards in the private sector.
"We will do all we can to ensure that slum landlords like Mr Pulqueiro feel the full force of the law."