A landlord has been ordered to pay back £739,000 in illegal earnings or face jail.
London landlord ordered to pay back £739000 after illegal housing operation discovered: The council investigating the case say it is the biggest confiscation order of it’s kind to date. Brent council’s planning enforcement officers uncovered appalling living conditions during their investigation. They said they discovered a family of four in one room, a family of three in another and three single men in another.
The illegal rooming houses were owned and run by Mohammed Mehdi Ali and his father. The council added that most tenants were from eastern Europe and Brazil. A crown court judge has ordered Ali to repay the money earnt on three properties in North West London. He had purchased the properties and converted them into houses for multiple occupation.
He will be sentenced today (Monday). His father, Salah Mahdi Ali, has already received a confiscation order totaling £544,000 at a court of appeal in 2014. He had purchased four properties and converted them to 38 flats without planning consent. The original 2010 crown court judgment said Salah Mahdi Ali had been living “a criminal lifestyle”.
Brent council’s lead member for regeneration, property and planning, Cllr Shama Tatler, said “This penalty sends a clear message that rogue landlords will not be allowed to get away with ignoring planning laws. The accommodation provided was some of the worst residential accommodation that officers have ever come across.
Brent will not tolerate this type of behaviour, landlords providing such horrible conditions.” The case has highlighted the need to get rid of rogue landlords and their immoral earnings. At Harrow crown court, Judge Lana Wood told Mohammed Mehdi Ali that if the order wasn’t paid he would face a five year and nine month prison sentence under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
She informed him he has three months to pay. She also ordered him to pay Brent Council £30,000 in legal costs.
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