A buy to let investor reported to be receiving rental income of £150,000 a year must pay over £340,000 after illegally converting several houses into bedsits and then ignoring council notices to undo the work.
The Wolverhampton Express & Star newspaper website reports that a judge described the landlord, Latif Rehman, as ‘a significant player’ in the industry over many years, who knew that he was breaching planning regulations.
Rehman received £278,000 in tenants’ housing benefits from Dudley council on four properties; Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that he continued converting some houses into flats and bedsits even after being told to stop the work as he did not have planning permission.
Local residents tipped off the council and enforcement notices were served on Rehman – but he took no notice.
He has now pleaded guilty to four charges of failing to comply with enforcement notices, was ordered to pay Dudley council full compensation of £278,028 within three months or go to prison for three years, and fined a total of £40,000. He was also ordered to pay £25,898 prosecution costs.