A landlord in London is chasing £75,000 in outstanding rent from the Romanian ambassador for their former residence near Hyde Park.
Despite receiving a High Court order in December 2019, the Romanian government is refusing to pay the sum. Officials have insisted that due to a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ they are not liable for the last six months of the lease. The tenancy was £12,000 a month.
The country’s diplomats believe that landlord Christopher Christos told them they could end the tenancy six months early.
Dan Mihalache, ambassador of Romania to the UK, was sent an order to quit the premises after they stopped paying rent in December 2018, but Mihalache remained in the property until the lease expired.
It was then on 11th December 2019 that the High Court ordered the Romanians to pay Christos the final six months’ rent plus £3,660 in legal fees.
Christos, who acquired the property in 2007 for £2.8m, told the press: “They are giving me the run-around and think that because of diplomatic immunity they are untouchable.”
“I’ve got a mortgage to pay off,” he added.
A spokesman for the Romanian embassy told The Times newspaper: “Following this agreement, the owner was also notified in writing by the embassy of Romania about the termination of the contract with a grace period of three months.
“During this agreed period of three months the Romanian embassy continued to pay the rent for the respective property, as agreed with the owner.
“The landlord didn’t inform us about any changes in his position, so his decision to ignore the termination agreement and to claim breach of the contract came surprisingly.
“At the end of the three-month notification period, the Romanian Embassy vacated the space, the residence of the head of the mission being relocated.”
The ambassador used the property, located at 18 Hyde Park Street, as their residence from April 2008 to April 2019 when the lease expired.