Letting agent Martin Marcus was jailed for four and half years for scamming landlords and tenants out of £200,000 for a ‘crude fraud’.

Marcus admitted five fraud charges at Harrow Crown Court.

He conned customers across North London out of deposits and rents to pay for a luxury lifestyle while tenants were left homeless and missing hundreds of pounds after he broke promises to them.

Marcus ran a string of letting businesses, including Corporate Relocations, A&A Properties, Churchill Residential, JMG Residential Ltd and Anthony Grant.

Defending, Yasmin Patel claimed the father-of-three had a multi-personality disorder and was tackling addictions to alcohol, drugs and food.

Letting agent South East Residentials Ltd and landlord Oner Asranboga were both fined by Bexley magistrates, South London, for a catalogue of offences relating to an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Woolwich.

South East Residentials acted as managing agent for HMO owner Mr Asranboga.

Both were found guilty of letting an unlicensed HMO and shared house management offences.

Asranboga was fined £5,600 and ordered to pay £870 costs, while the letting agent was fined £1,750 with £495 costs.

A First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber (Residential Property) has ordered a landlord guilty of shared house management offences to refund close to £3,000 rent to his tenants.

Landlord Andrew Coyle was fined £10,000 in December for the offences relating to homes in Oxford.

Another Oxford landlord was fined £15,000 for poorly managing an HMO and letting the property without a licence.

Andrew Sadler was also ordered to pay £2,444 costs.

Council leader Bob Price said:

“This is an appalling case. We take great care to inspect properties and when we do find such conditions we take legal action against landlords.

“This court case will send out a message to tenants that they will be protected.”