A landlord in east London will have to cough up more than £100,000 or face going to jail for illegally converting a house.
Nazmul Haq who turned a five-bedroom house in Strathfield Gardens, Barking, into a seven one-bedroom properties without permission was taken to court by Barking and Dagenham Council and ordered to pay almost £102,000.
The 54-year old landlord, who lives in Tower Hamlets, even built a rear extension to the property without applying for planning consent.
The council issued Haq with an enforcement notice in March 2014 informing him that he must return the property to a family home within six months - but he failed to comply.
Enforcement officers were initially unable to gain access to the property but when they finally did, in May 2015, they found the premises continued to be used as seven individual flats.
He was issued with an £80,000 confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and now has three months to pay or face a two-year prison sentence.
Haq was also ordered to pay a £7,500 fine and £14,376 to the council in costs.
Councillor Laila Butt, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “We will use whatever powers available to us to take action against illegal landlords who put profit ahead of people.
“We are determined to send a clear message to those landlords who flout the law that we will do our utmost to ensure they do not benefit from their crimes.”