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Posted on February 9th 2015 by admin-movingin

Landlord must pay £300,000 after illegal lettings

A landlord with 16 properties who told a court he had made a “huge mistake” has had to pay £301,258 after a saga lasting almost five years. 

William Lao, a landlord in Waltham Forest, was fined £73,500 and ordered to pay £217,758 in illegal earnings he acquired from letting out properties that were in breach of planning controls. He was also ordered to pay £10,000 towards the costs incurred by the local council which brought the action.

Lao had allegedly added roof and garden extensions to seven of his properties, in some instances almost doubling their size and typically involving converting the buildings from houses to apartments – all without planning consent.

Waltham Forest council served several Planning Enforcement Notices under the Town and Country Planning Act but Lao refused to restore the properties to their original state.

He also let out the additional properties he had created through his illegal extensions. 

Lao now has six months to pay, after which – if payment has not been made – he is liable to a default sentence of 30 months in jail. 

The total fine of £73,500 was made up of £10,000 for each of the seven Enforcement Notices that were ignored, £3,000 in relation to various breaches of Houses in Multiple Occupation regulations such as fire safety and being unlicensed, and £500 relating to an improvement notice and a failure to disclose ownership.

The properties were all in Leyton. All of the works carried out to them will be demolished and the properties returned to their original condition.