A rogue landlord in London has just been ordered to pay in excess of £282,000 after illegally converting a property in to “grossly undersized flats” and renting them out to families.
51 year old Shafait Ali had converted offices in London’s Old Kent Road into five flats without planning consent and has now been prosecuted by Southwark Council under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and will have to pay in excess of £282,000 or face a prison sentence.
One of the flats in the building was 35 square metres in area (two meters below the minimum for a one person flat) and had been crammed with bunk beds and rented out to at least eight tenants!
The homes were also deemed highly dangerous, with no fire detectors or fire escapes, electrical sockets in bathrooms and no heating in the bedrooms.
His tenants had been illegally charged £259,475 in rent, which he must now pay back along with more than £23,000 in costs and a fine.
Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency, Planning & Transport said: “We believe that everyone deserves a place that they’re proud to call home so it’s deeply shocking that families were cramped into properties not even big enough for one or two people.
This is a great result and another success for our Planning and Trading Standards teams, whose joint efforts have amounted to nearly £1.5 million in confiscation orders issued to landlords renting out illegally converted properties in Southwark since 2019.
The council remains committed to taking tough action against criminal landlords who would profit from the misery of their tenants by renting illegal and sub-standard properties.”
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