A London-based landlord has been hit with a £280,000 fine after major breaches in planning permission procedures and human safety.
In one of the biggest cases of its type in recent times, Shafait Ali, of Deptford was discovered to be housing eight people in a flat that was considered illegal for even one resident.
Ali had took it upon himself to convert former offices in London’s Old Kent Road into five flats without gaining any kind of official planning permission.
The homes didn’t comply with fire safety regulations with the absence of detectors or proper fire escapes. Further safety breaches included electrical sockets fitted in the bathrooms, while some bedrooms didn’t have heating.
Indeed, Southwark Council reported that planning permission would never had been greenlit in the first place such was the poor construction of the flats.
Astonishingly, it’s reported that one of the abodes Ali had built was 35 square metres in area – two metres below the minimum space required for a one person flat. In all, at least eight people were living in a flat too small for a single individual.
The 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.
In line with the notice, Ali must now cease letting out the house as three self-contained apartments and two non-self-contained apartments.
The fine amount was formulated after it was calculated the landlord had made £259,475 letting and 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.
Ali has been ordered to pay the full amount of some £280,000 within the next 3 months or face a jail term of two and a half years
The incident further galvanises the extreme importance of landlords staying within the law, obeying planning permission protocols and industry safety regulations.