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Friday, 13 July 2012
Illegal flat conversions landlord fined £310,000
Joint action by enforcement officers from the London boroughs of Brent and Harrow has resulted in a landlord being fined more than £310,000 for creating 28 flats in four houses in breach of planning regulations.
A judge at Harrow Crown Court ruled that Vispasp Sarkari must pay £303,000 under proceeds of crime legislation and £7,515 for the planning breaches. The defendant was also ordered to pay more than £18,000 in legal costs
Sarkari, aged 50, of Ivanhoe Drive, in Harrow, must pay the penalty within six months or face three-and-a-half years in prison.
Harrow and Brent launched an investigation after Sarkari was convicted of putting four flats into a terraced house in Wembley. The case involved properties in a range of different locations.
Half of the money will go to HM Treasury, with the rest split between the two councils, Harrow and Brent Trading Standards, and the court collection agency.
Councillor Keith Ferry, Harrow Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Enterprise, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to send out a clear message that we will not allow people to profit from illegal conversions.
"This landlord ignored planning rules designed to ensure that the quality of accommodation in the boroughs is maintained and that the environment for surrounding residents is protected. He ignored the council’s notices. As a result, he profited hugely from this sub-standard accommodation.”