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Monday, April 25, 2016

Luton 'fake landlord' jailed

A 'rent to rent' case in Luton has lead to a 16 month prison sentence for the 'fake landlord'.

Moses Ogoe posed as a landlord/owner of seven rental properties that he'd himself rented from unsuspecting landlords under false documentation, before converting them into Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs).

An investigation by Luton Council Trading Standards and Private Sector Housing services discovered that Mr Ogoe had rented the properties using falsified documentation, claiming he worked in a number of different professions, including as a doctor, a security manager and a catering manager, when in fact he worked as a security guard on temporary contract.

Mr Ogoe then went on to rent the properties out on a room by room basis to unsuspecting tenants who presumed he was the landlord.

The Honour Judge Kay QC outlined: 

"You saw an opportunity to rent relatively sizable properties and sublet them to desperate individuals who needed somewhere to live. You were not providing a public service because you did this for greed. You defrauded them as you did not provide a genuine tenancy and the protection that would give".

Alongside the 16 months prison sentence, Ogoe was ordered to pay £7,500 in costs. 

The case underlines the importance of carrying out tenant referencing checks.

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