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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

 Prison threat for landlord hit with £300,000 planning penalties

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.

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    Obviously not good. But strange that this landlord can presumably continue being a landlord. If he had treated pets badly or had neglected them, he would surely have been banned from owning pets.

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    He should be banned from ever again taking part in letting of properties and as well as the fine, he should get a 10 to 15 year gaol sentence.

    That is the only way that others will realise the law can be tough, so don't take the risk.

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    His properties should be confiscated by the council, brought up to standard and let out by the council.

    However the other side of the coin is his tenants are still better off than if they were homeless and the homeless "charities" need to stop making the PRS less attractive to landlords thus causing even more homelessness and forcing desperate tenants into such circumstances.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    This is the kind of property and Landlord that Local Authorities should be spending their time, money and effort on - not the Hundreds of Legitimate ' Low-hanging fruit ' Landlords that are "easy Civil penalty money " for some minor contraventions

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    The landlord gets fined, do the tenants get there rent back? the tenants were most likely on low income and this was all they could afford, the landlord should be banned for life.

  • George Dawes

    This is just the beginning , once the council get a taste for it , they'll be introducing all kinds of pointless red tape drivel to make up for their financial incompetence

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    • 22 October 2020 11:37 AM

    If there was a National LL licensing scheme it is doubtful these LL would have bothered with their criminality.
    This is because any LL letting without a licence would be subject to an immediate RRO along with confiscation under the POCA.

    Any criminal LL caught could lose everything.

    It really wouldn't be worth the bother if you could lose everything.

    Yes many criminal LL would remain undetected but slowly and surely they would be detected.

    Just set up a grass's reward system and gradually criminal LL would be grassed up.

    This would make being a criminal LL unviable.
    It is not as though the properties can be hidden from view!

    Make the licences cheap.
    Say £100 every 5 years.
    Abolish all other licensing schemes

    With about 4.5 million private rental properties and about 2.5 million LL that is an awful lot of £100!!!!

    More than sufficient for all Councils to carry out all enforcement activity.

    Councils could deal with the low hanging fruit first.
    Any LL letting to anyone in receipt of HB should be easily detectable.

    Hit those LL first.
    That should create about 1 million homeless as few of the LL would be compliant with lender or insurance conditions
    Councils would then need to rehouse!!

    It would be a legal requirement for any tenant to inform a LL that they are in receipt if HB even £0.50.

    With a licensing system it would be uneconomic to be a criminal LL.
    Any tenant who illegally sub-lets would also be hit by these sanctions.

    Licensing if enforced would be the magic bullet that would eradicate criminal LL whilst at the same time making millions homeless.

    Result!!

    But at least every LL will be properly licenced along with their properties.

    Surely not even Shelter could object to that!?
    .After all Shelter do desire decent and legal properties don't they!?

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    Desperate tenants wouldn't grass and become homeless. Solutions are to build more and incentivise property owners to let long term. Currently the incentives are to give up letting long term.

     
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    • 22 October 2020 13:19 PM

    @robertbrown

    The grasses don't need to be the occupying tenants of criminal LL.

    Plenty of others who would grass up criminal LL.

    Just look at the rear of any property in Slough; Ealing, Luton, Tower Hamlets and Southall.
    Lots of criminal LL operating beds in sheds etc.
    In fact just go to any diverse area and thousands of criminal LL will be detected operating.
    Few of them have traditional English names.


    Look above any corner shop being operated by the diverse population and you'll find illegal tenancies.

    Detecting and grassing up criminal LL really isn't hard to achieve.

    An effective and extremely hostile LL licensing system would ultimately root out the estimated 2.5 million illegal immigrants.
    These could be deported.
    Then we have the 300000 fraudster homeowners that are letting their homes in breach of resi lender conditions.
    I would imagine those homeowners would rapidly get rid of their illegal tenants or face losing their homes.

    If that means they can't afford to rent elsewhere and pay their resi mortgage TOUGH!!
    Take on lodgers or sell up.

    LL licensing is the key to eradicating fraudster LL



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    are beds in sheds illegal--i think not if they comply with standards

     
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    25 million illegals in uk

     
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    It is exactly these kind of landlords that give the rest of us a bad name, ban them and take the properties away from them. What will happen to their tenants though, I doubt very much that they would be the kind of tenants any of us would consider at any money, still that's the council's problem to home them.

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    • 22 October 2020 13:59 PM

    That is precisely why there will never be a very hostile LL licensing scheme.

    Govt will never introduce one that would effectively cause millions of homeless tenants.

    It is simply a fact that millions of tenancies are fraudulent.

    Licensing would reveal these.
    That is the last thing Govt wants!

     
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    Why would you suggest prison there is enough in there already at huge cost to tax payer. The Authorities now have £300k for old rope and while the people were illegally house isn't it far better than being on the street, forget about the mildew that's their Culture.
    I don't know why people keep on about Licensing does that mean you haven't got any or you wouldn't even go there. I have had to license & re-license many 3 times it not funny at a big cost and the licensing fee has doubled but that's the tip of the Ice berg with all the material changes & compliance costs think on. It's done enormous to damage to the private rented sector, 3 things it caused mainly, Sub-letting, Overcrowding and Anti-Social behavior or you can link those together but certainly it didn't exist before the Prescott 2004 Act introducing Licensing Schemes in 2006 to start with, then we had a Charity take away our Deposits in 2007 base on untruths when they alleged that 44% of Deposits were with held by LL's it later turned out that less than 2% went to Dispute Resolution no further comment needed, then it was the 10% wear & tear got their attention, then Private members Bill, then it was De-Regulation Act 2015 to use excuse alleged property disrepair or Tenant tamper with Boiler to avoid eviction, then suddenly they remembered no one knew how to rent that they had been doing for decades so lets a Have to Rent 9 page Guide or you cant use s21 but lets keep changing every 5 minutes so that they won't have the right one and we'll make it up as go along, there was no sub-letting, overcrowding & little ASB when the LL was in charge but not anymore he is now everyone's sugar daddy.

    Peter Meczes

    I really cannot understand what you are trying to say. Could you not write your message in plainer language?

     
    S SMITH

    Thanks for this - Micheal I agree with you.

     
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    On balance this landlord has got off light having ignored planning notices re breaches between 2010 to 2015. Depending on the extent of breach maximum time allowed for rectification should be 3 months with council isits every month to monitor action chargeable at

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    £100 to £250 per visit and failure to actively execute remedial work should precipitate prosecution within 2 months. finally court should be empowered to order lender to foreclose on the mortgage and if there be no mortgage a compulsory sale order be issued by court AND a further levy equal to the original fine be recovered from of the sale proceeds. Also LL be barred from future letting /management of property for at least 10 years to life time.
    Just like most crimes the punishments are NOT sufficiently severe to be a deterrent, thus far!

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    • 22 October 2020 16:33 PM

    I wouldn't be so extreme but I would certainly wish a final sanction to be in place.

    It is far more cost effective to ensure a bad LL is converted to a good one.
    It saves Councils TA costs.

    Far cheaper to cajole a LL into complying with regulations.

    If the LL ultimately refuses to play ball then Councils could justifiably wield out the big stick!

    Councils would much prefer LL to comply than prosecute for failing to comply with regulations.


    There should not be a knee- jerk response to prosecute.

     
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    Sitta you sound like a Council employee, why should it be £100 / £250 its a disgusting suggestion and unjustifiable extortion the Authorities are getting away with blue murder. people with this attitude probably never don't actual work or do you live in the real World in hard building you can work a full day and maybe not get a hundred pound, so you think its ok for some one to turn up with a pen & clip board or laptop to make a few notes, should stitch up the property owner like this. I had them look for £85 an hour off me. I would suggest £12.5 to £15 per hour is more realistic & one hour at that or you shouldn't be in a job.

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    • 22 October 2020 18:11 PM

    @terrysullivan

    All beds in sheds are ILLEGAL!!!

    YOU could have a shoffice with a guest staying.
    You can't have permanent guests and you can't have facilities for independent living without planning permission.

    As for 25 million illegals!?

    There are millions but not 25 of them!!

    Tops it would be about 3 million.

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    nope--uk popn=at least 90 million--tesco, water and sewage companies--yet govt claims 65 million

    govt claims london popn=8 million--same sources --20 million; even F24 claimed 14 million one year ago

    i expect next census will be cancelled

    and sheds cab be fully compliant and no pp eg if sheds are in use as part of house eg staff, family

    common in rop families

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    • 22 October 2020 18:25 PM

    I doubt if there is one bed in a shed that is legally compliant!!

    As for the numbers of population.

    These numbers you suggest are huge.

    Not suggesting you are incorrect.

    But to me it seems hard to hide so many people.

    Now I'm not saying this would be impossible.
    Just it seems too incredible.

     
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    most ilegals are in southern england

    thousands are entering uk weekly--uk has no record of overstayers--why not--other countries do and expel overstayers

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    Send them all back.......Certainly on January 1st.
    Scum......

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    The problem with a prison for him is that it will cost the tax-payer so much - even just one year inside would cost the taxpayer around £50,000. No, better is to confiscate this rental property from this repeat offender - and sell it on the open market, thus improving public finances.

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    sack 500000 public sector employees--that will improve public finances

    start with politicians--200 less mps and 500 less peersand thousands less councillors

    google west yorkshire mayor? tories again implementing eu policy yet uk is out of eu--why?

  • Peter Meczes

    No LL wants to hear or see such abuses to tenants. These "Rackman" clones should be driven out of the PRS completely. However, the tenants' plight is of concern. To just suggest that the council could re-house them is obviously nonsense. What might be a better solution would be the local authority confiscating the property and bringing it up to standard and collecting the rents themselves or offering the finished turn-key property to known decent LL. Maybe even providing a high LTV council mortgage?

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    • 23 October 2020 11:12 AM

    Yep there certainly needs to be a massive reduction in political representation.

    Boundary changes will hopefully lead to fewer MP's.

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