Buy-to-let landlords in Walthamstow, north east London, have been ordered to pay a collective total of £375,000 after modifying their buy-to-let properties - often with a view to squeezing in more tenants - without planning consent.
Many of the guilty landlords have been ordered to pay the £374,663.89 in profits, fines and prosecution costs or face being jailed, according to Waltham Forest Council.
The council informed the press that a confiscation order had been issued against Mohammed Raja Iqbal, director of Premier Home Investments Ltd, after he failed to comply with a planning enforcement notice and now has three months to pay the money back or else face prison.
The unscrupulous landlord was caught receiving rental income from a property that had been extended without consent in order to accomodate more tenants.
Elsewhere, a couple who were landlords of a property in Leyton were prosecuted for converting the premises into two self-contained flats and failing to change it back when instructed to do so.
Waltham Forest Council’s deputy leader Cllr Clyde Loakes said: “People who flout planning rules for their own financial gain need to understand that we will take necessary enforcement action.
“We will consider action under Proceeds of Crime Act whenever appropriate so that we take away the financial benefit of this criminal activity.”