Landlord receives £235,000 Fine for Illegal Bedsits
A landlord who has a property in East London, was given a fine of more than £235,000 after admitting her guilt in Snaresbrook Crown Court of owning illegal bedsits and renting them out.
Barking and Dagenham council took the landlord to court when they discovered the landlord to have gone ahead with renting out the bedsits despite breaching a planning enforcement notice, for extending her property to accommodate the bedsits.
The landlord received a monthly rent of £2,850 for the four flats/bedsits and used her own letting agency to rent them out.
The cabinet member for community safety and enforcement, Councillor Laila Butt, said: “This is a victory for decent landlords and law abiding estate agents. It reflects the magnificent work of our legal team, BDT Legal, and our diligent investigation and enforcement officers whose determination and forensic use of evidence led to this excellent outcome.
“It’s more evidence that this council will relentlessly pursue rogue landlords in our resolve to stand up for decent housing standards.”
The 47 year old landlord was ordered by Recorder Smith to pay the £222,000 Confiscation Order – under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 – and if the fine is not paid within three months she will have to serve a two year prison sentence.
Smith also gave her a further fine of £2,000 for the illegal conversion with the caveat that if this was not paid within three months then she will have to serve thirty days in jail, plus £11,649 in costs that have to be paid within the same period.
The council’s planning enforcement team went to the property after receiving a tip off about the 37 foot extension, and found that the four illegal bedsits were not of an acceptable standard for the tenants to live in.
The council has estimated that the landlord had received more that £108,000 in illicit rent from the four bedsits.
Cllr Butt continued by saying: “Through our tough enforcement action they have been demolished so no one else has to suffer such bad living conditions.
“What makes matters worse is her connection to the estate agency – she knew the law and was intentionally exploiting people who find it hard enough to find property to rent at affordable prices.”