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Confiscation Order means landlord must pay quarter of a million pounds

A London landlord has been ordered to pay almost £275,000 for failing to comply with an existing planning enforcement notice.

Mrs Anja Bawa was served an enforcement notice in February 2016 by officers from Ealing council’s enforcement team after it was discovered that she had overseen the construction of an outbuilding at the rear of a property she owns in Greenford.

The outbuilding was rented and being used as a separate dwelling, for which she did not have the required planning permission.


When officers visited the dwelling, it was found to be inadequate. The living space was cramped, of poor quality and not fit for purpose as a residential property.

An enforcement notice was served, requiring Bawa to cease using the outbuilding as a residential rental dwelling and she was given 3 months to comply.

She pleaded guilty at Ealing Magistrates’ Court for failing to comply with the enforcement action taken against her. The case was then referred to Isleworth Crown Court for a confiscation order to be considered under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. 

This required Bawa to prove that the income she had received over the previous six years was legal.

Following a long investigation, the court applied a confiscation order of £243,950.48 which must be paid by December 2 2021 and a default prison sentence of two-and-a-half-year was given if she fails to pay.

As sentence follows confiscation, at a further court hearing Bawa was sentenced to a fine of £8,000 and was ordered to pay full costs of £23,496.28.


Councillor Shital Manro, whose portfolio covers planning policy, says: “This is a great result for Ealing as it shows that we will take robust action not only to prevent those who provide poor quality housing but against those ignore planning law and our enforcement notices.

“In this case, Mrs Bawa was given ample time to comply but didn’t, which meant we had to take her to court. She now faces paying a total of £275,000 and a potential prison sentence.

“We’re happy to work with landlords who will provide good quality housing for Ealing residents, but we’ll take action against those who don’t and those who are persistent rogue landlords.”

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  • Peter  Yednell

    This landlord was in the wrong but the figure of £275k is sheer nonsense. A figure based on wild assumptions. The 275k demand is as greedy as the landlord. Wrong doing should be punished but only appropriately.

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    3’356 read this and only 2 people made a comment in 2 weeks and I am not commenting specifically on this case either, which is hardly surprising when they have made LL’s too scared to say anything. Councils are always delighted and clapping themselves on the back about the outcome as if they ever loose a case. Anyway it’s well known and reported for years that there are approximately 4’000 such buildings in West London, so they have a lot more clapping and delights at their disposal.

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    Something does not add up with this. It took the council six years to enforce and yet the council official says they ' robustly enforce'. More like they set a trap and let the landlord believe no action will be taken. I have grave doubts that the proceeds of crime legislation should apply to such technical breaches of law. The purpose of the legislation was to deal with serious criminals. With so much money at stake I am surprised that a landlord has not challenged the use of such legislation.

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    Yes Jim that’s what I thought the Council had years and what about the Established Use 4 year rule ?. Also in other cases much longer than this one.
    Regarding challenges to the decision you’d have to believe in the justice system to be fair, honest and not corrupt, that takes a lot of believing those days with so much collusion, and one sided decisions. you see Council, Courts and Government sharing the spoils, clear conflict of interest.
    I don’t think so keep well away from Chancery Chambers.


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