Rogue landlord must pay £280,000 – or go to jail

A London landlord must pay over £280,000 in three months after housing eight people in a flat deems illegal for even one resident.

Shafait Ali, of Deptford, had converted offices in London’s Old Kent Road into five flats without planning consent.

The homes were in a dangerous condition with no fire detectors or proper fire escapes, electrical sockets in bathrooms and no heating in some bedrooms.

Southwark Council has now prosecuted Ali under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 following his having pleaded guilty in June 2018 to two offences of failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice under the Town and County Planning Act 1990.

The notice required he cease letting out the house as three self-contained flats and two non-self-contained flats.

The notice also required the permanent removal of all fittings for the unauthorised conversion.

Southwark council’s trading standards division and Ali calculated he had made £259,475 letting the flats so he was served with a proceeds of crime confiscation order for that sum. 

He was also fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £23,400.59. 

If he fails to pay pay in the next three months he risks two and half years in prison.

Southwark council’s planning department found the flats were so poorly built they could never be granted planning permission.

One flat was 35 square metres in area – two metres below the minimum for a one person flat. However even within that space he fitted three bedrooms, one with no windows and each bedroom had at least two bunk beds in it. 

The larger bedroom had two sets of bunk beds – so at least eight people were living in a flat too small for one person.

Written by: Houseladder