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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The biggest landlord fine ever

I'm not absolutely sure, but I think this might well be the largest fine ever handed out to a private residential landlord.
An Islington landlord, David Kohali has just been ordered to pay £190,000, in fines, a confiscation order of £76,562.07 and court costs of £15,042.50 - a total sum of two hundred and eighty one thousand, six hundred and seven pounds and fifty seven pence, that's right £281,607.57.

The ginormous fine resulted from Islington Council applying for  a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act. It's the first time they have used this in the case of a landlord and means that they could reclaim money obtained by illegally renting out unauthorised units. 

The case follows years of Kohal ignoring council enforcement notices. The first notice was issued in 2009 regarding the rear section of a property at 201 Hornsey Road. The property had been converted by Kohali into what were described as six 'tiny' flats, despite the property only having planning consent to be used for storage.

Although the council's notices insisted Kohali should stop renting out the flats, and to take out all the bathrooms and kitchens, the landlord continued renting them out as residential. During this period Kohali lost an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate.

Kohali's admitted in Blackfriars Crown Court that he had failed to comply with an enforcement notice, contrary to s. 179 of the Town and Country Planning Act.

The Judge has given Kohali three months to pay or be faced with a custodial sentence.

The flats have now been removed from the outbuilding.

Cllr James Murray, from Islington council's housing and development, said:
"We want to make sure people have decent places to live - not places like these six small, sub-standard flats crammed into an outbuilding. The owner's decision to cram in these flats was done without planning permission, and our requests to comply with an enforcement notice were repeatedly ignored.”
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