Proceeds of crime order for Southall landlord following HMO planning breach
A married couple who are landlords from Southall have been ordered to pay over £290,000 after they failed to comply with a planning enforcement notice issued by Ealing Council.
This follows a similar case reported last month where another Ealing landlord was ordered to pay over quarter of a million pounds (read here).
The west London local authority prosecuted the landlord couple, Mr Kartar and Mrs Surinder Khosa, for failing to follow simple planning regulations at a property in Waxlow Crescent in Southall.
Mr and Mrs Khosa were served an enforcement notice by officers from Ealing Council’s planning enforcement team when it was discovered that they had neglected to obtain the required planning permission to use the main property as a large House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) and the outbuilding in the rear garden as a self-contained residential dwelling.
When officers visited the property, it was found that the occupants were living in cramped conditions, with a lack of adequate communal space inside the property and inadequate parking and provision for rubbish disposal for the number of tenants.
Planning Enforcement Notice
An enforcement notice was served, requiring Mr and Mrs Khosa to cease using the rear outbuilding as a residential dwelling, to cease the use of the main dwelling as a large HMO and to undertake some internal alterations to the property. The couple were given three months to comply with the notice.
Ealing’s planning officers secured a warrant to gain access to the property and undertake a compliance visit, which found that the use of the outbuilding had ceased, but that the main dwelling remained in use as a large HMO and the necessary internal remedial works had not been undertaken.
After a successful prosecution was secured against Mr and Mrs Khosa, the case was then committed to Isleworth Crown Court for a confiscation order to be considered under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This required them to prove that their income over the previous six years was legal. A confiscation order in the sum of £253,449.07 was ordered by the court. This needs to be paid by 3 December 2021 and a default prison sentence of 30 months for Mr Khosa and 15 months for Mrs Khosa applies if they fail to pay.
The couple were also ordered to pay a fine of £6,000 each, plus court costs of £25,250.70.
Ealing Councillor Shital Manro, whose portfolio covers planning policy, said:
“Once again, this is a huge win for Ealing Council and shows that we will take action if landlords fail to comply with our planning enforcement notices.“
“It’s really important when seeking to make any alterations to your property that you ensure you obtain the required planning permission to do so. Otherwise, you could land a hefty fine and a potential prison sentence.“
A free guide containing more information about property licensing and HMO planning rules in the London Borough of Ealing is available here.
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