Brent landlord ordered to pay over £200,000 for illegal flats

Thursday, November 12th, 2015 - Brent Council

A previously convicted property owner, Mr Vijay Kara from Hendon, has been ordered to pay over £200,000 by Harrow Crown Court for illegally converting two Brent properties into flats without planning permission and ignoring enforcement notices that were sent to him by Brent Council.

The rented properties on Strode Road, Willesden and in an industrial estate off the North Circular Road were of poor quality and not up to council standards.

Brent Council served planning enforcement notices requiring the properties to be restored to their original condition, but Mr Kara failed to comply and so the council took criminal proceedings against him.

Mr Kara pleaded guilty to the charges and on 29 October 2015, he was served a confiscation order of £187,600 for both properties, fined £10,000 and also ordered to pay costs of £10,000 by Harrow Crown Court.

A confiscation order is designed to take the profit out of crime by making the convicted defendant pay a sum of money, which represents the benefits of the crime i.e. the rental income received when he let out the illegally converted properties.

Councillor Margaret McLennan, Lead Member for Housing and Development at Brent Council said:

It’s staggering that Mr Kara thought that he could get away with letting out illegal sub-standard accommodation, despite a conviction for the same offence in 2009.

Thanks to our hard working enforcement team, he has been caught out again and landed with a hefty bill.

It is so important for planning rules to be upheld, not just to protect what our streets look like, but to protect tenants from poor standard accommodation.