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Banned for life: rogue landlord faces jail if he lets another home

A landlord who unlawfully let cramped and overcrowded bedsits and then harassed tenants who complained has been fined thousands of pounds and warned he’ll be jailed if he tries to let other properties.

Balazs Stalter was prosecuted by Wandsworth council in south London after the authority received complaints from his tenants. It discovered that Stalter had been letting family sized properties after unlawfully converting them into bedsits.

In one case he let a property in Tooting to five tenants after switching the living room and dining room into bedrooms, with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. He did so without planning consent nor registering the property as an HMO.


A statement from the council says that when Stalter found out that some of the tenants had complained “he waged a campaign of harassment against them.”

This included tampering with their water, gas and electricity supplies, and glueing up their locks. He also posted fake and negative online reviews of the company owned by the family of one of his tenants, which led to him receiving a formal police warning.

When the case reached court at the end of last year Stalter was convicted of unlawfully operating an HMO without a licence.

The council says that during his trial last year Stalter produced what appeared to be a tenancy agreement, apparently signed by a tenant confirming that the room he rented was not his permanent residence. 

However the council alleges the document was fraudulent and the signature forged. The tenant in question had returned to his native New Zealand and was living on the other side of the world at the time the agreement was “signed”.

In court last year Stalter was fined £1,858 and ordered to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £2,089 plus a victim surcharge of £170. The council also successfully applied for a banning order preventing him from operating as a landlord. 

If he breaches this order it is a criminal offence carrying a minimum term of three months imprisonment.

Now at Kingston Crown Court, in a recent separate hearing, Stalter appealed against the fines imposed by the magistrates and the banning order.



A video link to New Zealand saw the tenant whose signature was on the forged document testify he had never seen nor signed the document in question.

Stalter’s appeal was dismissed and he was ordered to pay a further £3,818 in costs.

A Wandsworth council spokesman says: “By his own disgraceful and unacceptable behaviour 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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  • icon

    London is now a cauldron of differing cultures that have no synchrony with 'British' values or the legal framework that supports them.

    Only when this goes blatantly too far, does anything get done to resolve.

    The Battle for Britain...is lost!

    Daniela Provvedi

    Milan, Paris & Barcelona to name just a few other huge cities also have a cauldron of differing cultures that no longer have synchrony with their own values.
    It doesn't mean that the battle is lost. It just means that these rogue, unscrupulous LL who give us all a bad name, must be made to stop working in their dirty way.
    I'm pleased this Stalter LL was found out, fined, and banned, aren't you?
    As a London LL with a couple of properties in Wandsworth, I'm pleased that this filth has been struck off.


    About time these scum type landlords were dealt with, clearly they consider our laws don't apply to them, they are so arrogant to consider them selves above our laws, they give us decent landlords a bad name

  • icon

    Sorry computer misbehaving, it is my view the punishment / penalty is quite light.
    It should be severe warning 1st time with immediate removal of all L/L illegal actions/tenancies, and fair and reasonable time period given to rectify all shortcomings.
    Recifications monitored by enforcement and chargeable at circa £200/visit
    All income so generated illegally must be subject to recovery, and fines and costs laid on top?!
    NO FLIPPING WONDER JO PUBLIC AND MPs are anti landlords!

    Franklin I

    Extremely light.

    I've seen £40,00 + fines, for flouting the Landlord's Licensing Laws.

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    I agree Mr.Barrett, and if I may, I guess you intended to state "fewer", correct me if I am wrong.
    But then again if a generation changed or in even less time there is nothing to stop some changing their name. I am from the far east ex UK colony and there were families that changed names then early 20th and late 19th century to Wilson, Breckenridge, Sanders etc.... just some examples

  • Taifoor Chaudhry

    This is borderline bad taste that conversation is going toward non British names. The issue is a criminal was caught and punished and this time happened to be with " non British " name I say non English name.
    Anyways , I rest my case.


    Excellent - let's hope we don't have to repeat the conversation next time because that would be unfortunate ?

  • Algarve  Investor

    What are British values exactly? These days it seems to be breaking international law when it suits and proroguing Parliament when you can't get your own way. And what does traditional British mean? There are plenty of rogue landlords with British/Anglo-Saxon sounding names, but on those stories there are no comments. Funny that.

    • 02 October 2020 12:15 PM

    Absolutely incorrect show me a story in MSM in the past 10 years about a rogue white British LL.

    They'll be about two.
    Now how many for the others without British surnames from 70 years ago!?

  • Taifoor Chaudhry

    Paul Barrett, I agree to disagree. You may have a reason behind your views which I find unreasonable. However, calling me a part of problem without knowing me is sufficient for me to make my own opinion about yourself. Please refrain and stop being so judgemental.

    • 02 October 2020 12:33 PM

    So now you are trying to tell someone that they cannot say what they feel, because you just happen to disagree with their thoughts?

    Remember the UK has a system that allows people to express free thoughts.

    Taifoor Chaudhry

    David, everyone has a right to Express views. But I think the comment made by Paul is not available to which I responded. Let's move on and feel happy that criminal was rightly punished and it will go some way to restore trust in majority of the law abiding LLs.

  • icon

    I really cannot believe what I am reading from the comments currently here. You select few have turned an article about a rogue LL into a race issue. Perhaps you'll all point out the issues when the next 'white' name of a rogue LL is mentioned, I believe there are a fair few and they've been subject to the same laws in previous articles.

    I'm utterly ashamed to be British at the moment. The divisive culture in the UK right now is appalling.

    • 02 October 2020 12:30 PM

    Have you ever thought that it is the truth?

    Taifoor Chaudhry

    Thank you Chris, this is exactly what I am trying to point out


    I would be more than happy if you were to name them so I can research and support your argument - it's not libel if they have been convicted in a UK court of law.

    On the other hand, the truth is the truth... and anyone who says that it isn't is a bigot ?

  • icon

    Yes it could be right that some rogue LLs are from foreign communities, due as stated above fewer native LLs have made a success of being LLs. Also the average Smith/Jones is risk averse as I have observed with colleagues when I worked in a large company.
    The natives (not all, just a lot) who tend be bent go into estate agency, banks, financial sector etc. where they do not need to invest their own capital and are able get jobs easily due to being native??
    Remember Fred the Shred Goodwin (a so-called Chartered Accountant, who did not understand liquidity); The head of FCA around the 2008 Banking Crash who was asleep on the job.

  • icon

    Also remember a wealthy turkish 2nd/3rd generation migrant who is an extremely prominent public figure with an extremely English sounding name ending in"son".
    Having said all of the above I would add that although overt racial prejudice in UK is still far too prevalent, but is a lot less than it was some 30 to 50 years ago, albeit now more covert and subtle at times and blatant at other times. My recent experience of prejudice was only a few months ago with a policeman who dodged investigating a complaint against one a native for aggressive threats and damage to property (car and my house front door)saying "no corroborating evidence".
    On balance it a still in my view the best country to live in and I am happy to be here and would not want to return to live in my country of birth. It is a very small number of natives who truly make Britain Great, and it always crucial to remember that.

  • icon

    Another LL fined & banned I don't care what his name is or sounds like, again another half story as usual the Tenant Complained and Council jumps into action. Who made it over crowded very likely the Tenant, did LL force them to go-in there. Tenant did obviously like every other over crowded house or I am on a different Planet. As a LL does he have any instrument to reduce the the number of occupants ? no, why are Tenants above the Law and not required to comply with anything, why are Tenants not prosecuted for over crowding, although the Law will now apply to them like everyone else for breaches of corona quarantining maybe £1'000 / £10'000 but any breaches of Tenancies is applauded backed up by Council, Courts, Shelter, Generation rent, Citizens advice and everyone else that have no-input or provide any Housing. I am not sticking up for this LL but we are only ever told the big head line half a story, possibly another miss carriage of justice & video messages from other side of the world indeed, I hope there wasn't any collusion here if so its as bad forgery.

  • icon
    • 03 October 2020 20:31 PM

    Indeed a LL should only be prosecuted if it is he that allowed overcrowding.
    If he didn't then the illegal occupants should be prosecuted and not be allowed to receive council assistance for further housing once the Council has the illegal occupants removed.
    If it can be proven to criminal levels of evidence that the LL permitted such breaching of housing regulations then throw the book at him!!

  • icon

    Why would anyone want to be a LL with so many Rogue Regulators controlling everything none of them that includes all of them don't put a roof over anyone head, not pay or contribute anything Shelter included who made most of the anti-private LL Laws and were invited to Parliamentary select committee to advise Government but they don't supply any housing so why ask them ? when I go to the Butcher I ask the Butcher not the block. Local authorities have cost us billions of £'s most of the money went to them but never a penny of their own money and the only restriction put on them was not to make a profit, now that's some stipulation ? can I have a Contract like that please & waste all I like. My Property is still idle in no small way caused by Rogue regulators I has 2 lots that were interested and wanted to give me holding Deposit which I had to refuse because from 1st of June 2019 it was restricted by Shelter / 2019 Act. I can only take the equivalent to one weeks rent as holding Deposit. They were offering me more even insisting that I would take but not a hope so there is no holding Deposit anymore Mr Shelter and can't promise to hold it for anyone without a commitment that I am not allowed to have, think on, its obvious they are crippling us by every means and none of their business. OK so you expect me to place a encumbrance on my property and give virtual control to strangers on £800'000 property for a weeks rents very generous of you, lucky its not yours, even if I do let someone in eventually they are guaranteed by Government to have it for a year with owner having no say, its not Department of Social Science anymore, its Landlords Social Welfare, we are not equal before the Law we are now 3rd class citizens, Yours furious.


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