penalty fine

11 Dec 23

A landlord who used a fake name to evade detection has been hit with £485,000 in fines after illegally renting out a shed as five flats.

Yehudi Levhar of Sudbury also previously pleaded guilty to letting a house at the same premises as two flats without planning permission.

Brent council was tipped off by neighbours who reported the property back in 2013. 

Officers served a planning enforcement notice to stop the premises being let as seven flats, but the landlord failed to comply.

Tenants told officers their landlord was called Barry Jacobs but officers were only able to locate “Barry” in 2016 and were unable to prove who he was. 

The premises was later registered with the land registry under the name of Yehuda Levhar. 

In 2020, officers tracked down Levhar and took him to court, prompting three years of hearings.  

Levhar was ordered to pay £60,000 in costs to the council, £1,000 fine to the court and a £424,000 confiscation order to the government for the criminal profit he made over several years.

A council spokesperson says: “Yehuda Levhar has felt the force of the law for choosing to rip off tenants, house them in appalling conditions and ignore planning regulations. 

“This sort of exploitation is illegal and we will root out every last landlord in Brent who acts like this.

“We will utilise in full force our recently granted borough-wide licensing, which will enable us to improve standard of living for renters in Brent, and give landlords clear guidance on what responsibilities are expected of them to safeguard renters’ security.” 

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