Rogue landlord ordered to pay back £739k in illegal rent or face jail

An unscrupulous landlord who operated multi-tenant properties in north-west London without consent has been ordered to pay back £739,263.58 in illicit earnings or face jail, in one of the biggest confiscation orders of its kind.

Planning enforcement officers at Brent Council, which investigated the case, found up to 15 people, mainly from eastern Europe and Brazil, living in some of the homes, including one property where there was a family of four in one room, a family of three in another and three single men in another.

The council said the properties in Willesden, owned by Mohammed Mehdi Ali and his father, were some of the worst its officers had ever seen.

Ali was told by the court that he would face a prison term of five years and nine months if he did not pay the order in full within three months.

It follows an earlier £544,000 confiscation order against his father, Salah Mahdi Ali, in the court of appeal in 2014 that involved criminal earnings on two of the same properties. He had converted four homes into 38 flats without planning permission.

Ali was found guilty of failing to comply with planning enforcement notices in April 2018 at Willesden Magistrates Court, after investigations by Brent’s planning enforcement team.  The case was then referred to Harrow Crown Court for confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Brent was represented in the crown court by Edmund Robb of Prospect Law.

Detailed investigations carried out by Brent’s financial investigators and Brent’s planning enforcement officers revealed the extent of the number of illegal dwellings created and the illicit earnings made by illegally renting out the properties, which were owned by Ali and his father. The properties were used as houses in multiple occupation and as undersized flats.

Ali was also ordered to pay Brent council £30,000 to cover its legal costs in the long-running case.

Cllr Shama Tatler, Lead Member for Regeneration, Property & Planning, said: “This is another huge win for Brent. The council will take robust action to prevent the creation of poor quality housing.

“This penalty sends a clear message that rogue landlords will not be allowed to get away with ignoring planning laws. The accommodation provided was some of the worst residential accommodation that officers have ever come across. Brent will not tolerate this type of behaviour, landlords providing such horrible conditions. Brent residents deserve better.”

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9 Comments

  1. 0racle

    How these people are given the option to pay to avoid jail is quite beyond me…. especially when it’s not the first time it’s happened….

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  2. PossessionFriendUK39

    Why not confiscation Orders under the Proceeds of Crime  ?

    Seems that a variety of measures are used on different occasions giving no consistency (  without a consistent approach, the deterrent effect is less )

    Council should confiscate under Proceeds of crime and add it to their Housing stock,  rather than sell and pocket the money into their funds.

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  3. Woodentop

    I wonder how many of the tenants were supposed to be in this country?

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    1. PossessionFriendUK39

      All you get on the big ‘ I ‘ subject ( Immigration )  is silence and a publicity Blackout  ! Watch out for my interview on   AltNewsMedia.com   later this week.  !!!

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      1. Tegs Dad

        altnewsmedia.com
        This domain is available for sale!

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        1. PossessionFriendUK39

          Sorry,   .net
          AltNewsMedia.net

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          1. Tegs Dad

            Thanks – keep us posted on the date etc.

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            1. PossessionFriendUK39

              I will be posting it   on P118 ( it might be Thursday,  but hasn’t been confirmed yet )
              The big Question I’ll be addressing is what is the Underlying cause of the Housing crisis, a reason that has Never been voiced before, and giving corroboratory evidence of its existence in a number of other public services /  functions.
              There is a facility on AltNewsmedia for those watching Live to post comments and I’ll be trying to answer some of them on the broadcast.

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  4. jeremy1960

    If anything, this proves that councils have the tools in their armoury to take action without any need for licensing.

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