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‘Ghost Tenants’ - £190,000 fine for landlords after four year court battle

A remarkable four year court battle has ended with £190,000 in fines for a rogue landlord couple who falsely claimed they were letting six properties to a single tenant.

The Waltham Forest Echo reports that Mohamed and Shehara Lahrie says the single tenant claimed by the couple were in fact their letting agent. 

This concealed the fact that the properties in question were HMOs, meaning the homes were not inspected and the landlords did not obtain the required licenses.


Their defence lawyer, appealing for leniency at their sentencing, told Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court the properties were just “one per cent” of their 600 unit property portfolio, which they have now been forced to sell.

Late last week, following an initial trial in April, Mohamed Laurie was fined Lahrie £126,500 and Shehara Lahrie was fined £60,500.

The judge described this as a “fair and proportionate” financial penalty that would deter other offenders.

The couple owned 600 properties in east London through a network of at least 28 companies. 

At the start of the hearing, lettings agency Station Estates Limited was formally cleared of charges after the council offered no evidence. According to Companies House, the agency entered bankruptcy in May 2019.



Waltham Forest council’s legal case began in 2017 but was delayed for four years due to an unsuccessful legal challenge by the Lahries.

Mohamed Lahrie is reported to have said after the fines were imposed: “I have learned my lesson and I regret what I did”.

You can read the full story here.

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    This is not going to deter anyone doing anything 600 property portfolio, the unacceptable face of capitalism.
    28 Companies what for, maybe Companies shouldn’t be allowed to rent out private residence seen as they are so crooked but instead Government introduced S.24 to force more LL’s into Companies where most of the fraud takes place.
    Supposedly letting 6 properties to one individual and not properly licensed, so anyone want to tell me they didn’t know the difference it’s not their first day on the job, if we as individual LL’s had one property let to 6 Tenants and no license we’d probably get fined that with repayment orders, confiscation order if not banned.

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    Exactly the sort of landlord that should not only face prosecution, but also be banned from the PRS for life.
    This does make me feel that Landlords with a portfolio of say 10+ property should be the ones feeling the pinch of punitive legislative costs and taxes. The smaller Landlord who sole aim is (in relative terms) a small income/financial security in retirement should receive far less hostile attitudes towards them.


    Sorry I disagree that sounds like socialism. No limits to what is created or achieved

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    Ok I would agree if we have to play by same rules. 28 Companies indeed what for only to hide behind and be protected for most part, we are in the front line with no protection and treated so unfairly lumbered with S24 that they are exempt from. So they haven’t a license for those six as if they didn’t know. I have 7 coming due for license renewal again before Xmas, all licensed before at least twice some 3 times & the fourth time for one, (2006,2011,2016 &2021) another £10k for license applications and fees, without counting any additional work or compliance needed, Why do I have to keep doing it over and over again while others haven’t even done one. I am not envious or jealous or care less what they have but how can we compete with others who didn’t have our huge costs.


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