Hounslow Council's crackdown on rogue landlords has led to one of the biggest fines ever imposed locally on a landlord for failing to comply with rules on illegal dwellings.
A Cranford man, who illegally converted two homes into 11 self-contained flats, has been fined more than £52,000, and faces jail if he does not pay within 12 months.
Abdul Rahim Khan, of Bath Road, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with two enforcement notices relating to two properties on Windsor Road, Hounslow.
The first notice required Mr Khan to stop using 2 Windsor Road as three separate residential units, cease using an outbuilding as a residential unit, and demolish the outbuilding and a single storey extension that did not have planning permission.
The second notice required Mr Khan to stop using 2a Windsor Road as six self-contained residential units, cease using an outbuilding as a residential unit, and demolish the outbuilding and a single storey extension that did not have planning permission.
Cllr Steve Curran, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration at the council, said:
“This is the biggest fine we’ve ever had for this kind of case, and I’m delighted the courts have decided to send such a strong message to unscrupulous landlords.
“This was clearly a case of overdevelopment and I hope this prosecution sends out a clear message that we won’t tolerate unscrupulous landlords flout the planning rules.”
The enforcement notices were issued in August 2010, and Mr Khan appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, who upheld the notices. Mr Khan then applied for a certificate of lawfulness for the developments, which was refused.
Officers from the council’s rogue landlord team visited the properties last summer, after a tenant complained about the state of repair of the property, and found the enforcement notices had not been complied with.
The team wrote to the owners in August, warning them that they would be prosecuted if they failed to comply with the notices, and legal proceedings began in February.
Mr Khan pleaded guilty to the charges, and magistrates referred the case to Isleworth Crown Court on Friday, 28 March. Mr Khan was ordered to pay £25,000 for each charge of failing to comply with an enforcement notice and costs of £2,677, to be paid in 12 months or he faces 18 months in jail.
A visit to the site in November confirmed the properties had been returned to single dwellings, but the extensions, outbuildings and debris remained.