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Lettings firm face criminal confiscations over illegal micro-flats

A lettings firm and a property management company that converted a family home into micro flats have been found guilty of breaching a planning enforcement notice.

The owners of the house in Harlesden, north London – the companies Lettings firm Wise Estates (UK) Ltd and Manlow Property Management Ltd – converted the three bedroom house into six studio flats without planning permission.

Brent council issued the owners and managers with a notice in February 2015 after receiving complaints from residents. The premises was due to be converted back to a three bedroom house by September 23 2015, but the owners and managers failed to comply.

Now Willesden Magistrates Court has confirmed that the two companies were in breach of the enforcement notice and the case has been sent to Harrow Crown Court for confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

“Planning permission would not have been granted for this type of conversion because of the over intensive use of the available living space. The illegal flats were very cramped and conditions were below standard. This planning breach resulted in a loss of a family home” says a council spokesman.

Brent and the Mayor of London’s standards require studio flats to be at least 37 square metres. The illegally converted studio flats ranged from just eight square metres to 12 square metres.

The council says most of the tenants in the flats have now vacated the premises.

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