A planning inspector has ordered a rogue landlord to comply with enforcement notices after being found to be illegally renting two properties - one of which is a storage area.
The enforcement notices were served in October 2020 in Hayes, Middlesex, after council investigators found breaches of planning law at both addresses owned by landlord Tarsem Dhillon.
At one property, small HMO, agreement has been given to the property to house six residents, but seven bedrooms were found, rendering it a 'large HMO'.
At the other, a detached storage building at the rear of the first, the property had been converted so that the first floor was residential premises housing eight bedrooms.
Dhillon appealed the notices, but his appeals were dismissed with some amended conditions by an independent planning inspector.
The council received reports in June 2020 of bedding and kitchen equipment being moved into the second property. Initially, Dhillon refused to let the council's team into the property when they visited for an inspection.
However, when the London Fire Brigade were called to a fire at the site later that month they found eight bedrooms, a kitchen and two bathrooms on the upper floor and issued a notice banning it from being used as residential property.
When the first property was inspected - also in June 2020 - it was found being used as an HMO, however those permissions limited it to six persons. The council's inspectors found seven bedrooms, in breach of the legal allowance.
The planning inspector agreed with Dhillon's appeal claims that the notice was 'excessive' given it had been previously used lawfully as a small HMO. The inspector ruled the notice should be amended for it to revert back to that use and that the timescale for compliance should be six months.
At the second property, the enforcement notice served by the council required the first floor to no longer be used for residential purposes and all kitchen/bathroom facilities to be removed within three months.
The planning inspector said all the bedrooms were smaller that required for good living standards, calling them 'cramped and restricted'. He added that the home would probably add to already high levels of parking stress in local streets if residents had their own cars.
In this instance, the planning inspector disagreed with the appellant's claim that the measures of the enforcement notice were excessive, but again agreed to extend the period from compliance from three to six months.
A spokesman for Hillingdon council: "This is a brilliant result and reflects the undaunted efforts of our planning investigators.
"Private renters in Hillingdon should rightfully expect to be housed in comfortable and safe accommodation. So we will always take the necessary action where landlords are flouting the rules, particularly if their actions could be putting lives at risk.”
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