03 Mar 2020
A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay back a whopping £190,000 after he was caught receiving rental from illegal flats.
A confiscation order was issued against Olu Soyebo, 61, of Lagos, Nigeria, after he failed to comply with a planning enforcement notice and now has three months to pay the money back or else face prison.
Harrow Crown Court heard how the property on Windsor Crescent, Wembley, had been converted into flats without planning consent back in 2009, and Brent’s enforcement team served a notice on him.
But follow-up inspections found the flats were reinstated by Soyebo and were rented out separately, this time for more than nine years.
The judge at Harrow Crown Court criticised Soyebo for failing to put measures in place to ensure that the council’s warning letters, which were sent to several known addresses in London, would reach him at his home in Nigeria.
The court was told that it was not Soyebo’s first enforcement notice.
In 2001 a notice was served on him when the property was being used as a house in multiple occupation without planning permission.
Judge Tregilgas-Davey told Soyebo: “You entirely ignored the foreseeable risk when you converted [the property] into two flats without planning permission.”