26 Oct 2020
A London landlord who ignored six enforcement notices served by his local council has been ordered to pay over £300,000.
Salim Mussa Patel from Southall has been made the subject of a confiscation order for £207,000, has been fined £50,000 and made to pay the council’s costs of £49,198.
Mussa Patel was given three months to pay the confiscation order or face three years’ imprisonment in default. He has six months to pay the fine and the council’s costs.
Since 2010 he had been renting a number of flats and outbuildings that did not have planning permission. Between 2010 and 2015 Ealing council served a total of 18 planning enforcement notices on properties owned by Mussa Patel in the Southall area for the conversion of dwellings into multiple flats and the use of rear outbuildings as further self-contained residential units.
Then, in April 2017, planning enforcement officers and police raided six of these properties and found multiple breaches of enforcement notices.
At one, officers found a family of four living in an outbuilding, all sleeping in a single room in a double bunk bed. The children slept in the top bunk, where loose electrical wiring had been taped to the ceiling to prevent it hanging over their bed. The room itself was riddled with damp and mould.
At another address they found a total of 18 people living in a converted three-bedroom dwelling.
The council started prosecution proceedings against Mussa Patel and in October 2017 he pleaded guilty at Ealing Magistrates’ Court to the offences.
However, the matter was then referred to Isleworth Crown Court for confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act because Mussa Patel had continued to receive significant rental income for the unlawful flats and outbuildings even once the enforcement notices had become effective.
The enforcement notices of each of the six properties have now been complied with.