Outbuildings

A Landlord in Southall has been fined £46,000 for illegally renting an outbuilding to a tenant.

In 2010 Ealing council established that the landlord had illegally converted a garage into a residence and let out to a tenant. The council issued the landlord with an enforcement notice ordering him to undo the conversion. The landlord ignored the enforcement notice and the council successfully prosecuted him.

Following the prosecution, the landlord changed the residence back into a garage and the council closed the case. However, the notice remained with the land which meant that renting out the garage again would be an automatic criminal offence.

Routine visits to the rental property by council officials early this year raised suspicions that the landlord was again renting out the garage. The landlord was prosecuted once again and following his guilty plea the fine was reduced from £60,000 to £42,000.

Comment

Fines for housing offences are steadily rising as a result of the change to unlimited fines. Local authorities are also prosecuting more actively, especially in London. Landlords must ensure they comply with the law and avoid this kind of unlawful activity otherwise the penalties are likely to be severe.

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