Rogue landlord told to pay £275,000 for illegal outbuilding

A landlord has been ordered to pay a substantial £275,000 after illegally constructing and renting out an outbuilding at the rear of her house, which she continued to rent out despite being ordered to stop.

Anja Bawa of Greenford, Middlesex, was issued with a planning enforcement notice in February 2016 after officers from Ealing Council’s Planning Enforcement team inspected the outbuilding and weren’t impressed.

The building was cramped, of poor quality and was deemed not fit for purpose to be rented out as a residential property.

She was given three months to stop renting it to tenants after the enforcement notice was served, which she failed to do.

The fine was so substantial because the courts took into account the rental income she’d received over a six year period.

She pleaded guilty at Ealing Magistrates’ Court, which the case being referred to Isleworth Crown Court for a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

After the investigation the court issued a confiscation order of £243,950.48 to be paid by 2 December 2021, while if she fails to comply she will be handed a prison sentence of two and a half years.

This followed a court hearing where Bawa was sentenced to a fine of £8,000 and was ordered to pay full costs of £23,496.28.

Councillor Shital Manro, whose portfolio covers planning policy, said: “This is a great result for Ealing as it shows that we will take robust action not only to prevent those who provide poor quality housing but against those ignore planning law and our enforcement notices.

“In this case, Mrs Bawa was given ample time to comply but didn’t, which meant we had to take her to court. She now faces paying a total of £275,000 and a potential prison sentence.

“We’re happy to work with landlords who will provide good quality housing for Ealing residents, but we’ll take action against those who don’t and those who are persistent rogue landlords.

“Providing affordable accommodation is one of our key aims of our good jobs priority in Ealing.”

Comments 1

  1. Fined £243,000 which equates to about 6 years rent so £40k a year for what sounds like little more than a shed in the back garden! This was a widespread issue highlighted in the Sun newspaper some years back in the Southall/Greenford area with immigrants with informal tenancy agreements being charged £850 month for a back garden shed. Looks like it is still going on. A quick look on google maps reveals that many houses in the area have what looks like a large shed/outbuilding in the back garden, are they all used for storage?
    The tenants don’t dare complain having no formalised agreement, especially if their immigration status is in question. That the Council came down like a ton of bricks on one landlord is good and I expect they hope it will deter others. However, I suspect the Council don’t dare try that hard (this case took 6 years to settle) otherwise they would have a flood of people to sort out and re-home.
    Meanwhile Government, Shelter and Generation Rent sit around dreaming up yet more regulations to punish decent landlords in the vain hope it will push the rogues, with their overcrowded sub- standard housing out. Some hope! The opposite may happen, decent landlords faced with escalating costs may give up, opening up yet more market for the rogues.
    Meanwhile, I have a lock up garage that could be available at a bargain price of only £15,000 year, just need to relocate it from Manchester to a garden in Greenford (joke)!

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