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Rogue landlord must pay £280,000 - or go to jail

A London landlord must pay over £280,000 in three months after housing eight people in a flat deems illegal for even one resident.

Shafait Ali, of Deptford, had converted offices in London’s Old Kent Road into five flats without planning consent.

The homes were in a dangerous condition with no fire detectors or proper fire escapes, electrical sockets in bathrooms and no heating in some bedrooms.


Southwark Council has now prosecuted Ali under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 following his having pleaded guilty in June 2018 to two offences of failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice under the Town and County Planning Act 1990.

The notice required he cease letting out the house as three self-contained flats and two non-self-contained flats.

The notice also required the permanent removal of all fittings for the unauthorised conversion.

Southwark council’s trading standards division and Ali calculated he had made £259,475 letting the flats so he was served with a proceeds of crime confiscation order for that sum. 

He was also fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £23,400.59. 

If he fails to pay pay in the next three months he risks two and half years in prison.

Southwark council’s planning department found the flats were so poorly built they could never be granted planning permission.

One flat was 35 square metres in area – two metres below the minimum for a one person flat. However even within that space he fitted three bedrooms, one with no windows and each bedroom had at least two bunk beds in it. 

The larger bedroom had two sets of bunk beds – so at least eight people were living in a flat too small for one person.

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    Has he been banned from ever letting property out again ? sounds like he should be.

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    • 27 November 2020 10:45 AM

    How did the local authority not know he had built a 35Sqm flat? Surely the local building authority should be overseeing the build of any residential building?????????

    How did he get an OK to build?

    Surely there should have been a sign off by the local building authorities???????

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    these are the LLs that should be tracked down and punished hard instead of continually making life hard for those of us who do a good job and rent out our properties legally. LLs like this give us all a bad name

    Daniela Provvedi

    You're absolutely right, Sandra. News like this really p*sses me off. Bad LL & bad council for not noticing. But what astounds me is that people live in those conditions. 😲😩😖

    Franklin I

    I wouldn't call these type of people LL's Sandra.

    They're just a bunch of cowboys who believe that in their own fantasy world, they're smarter than the system.

    This will send a message out to all those rogue "cowboys" giving us a bad name.


    Trouble is that the licensing authorities are happy to take the money, but don't chase up the rogue landlords that they were set up to regulate.
    As usual, it is the genuine landlords that are penalised with compliance, whilst the non-declaring types carry on 'off the radar' until, or if they are caught out.


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