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Huge £400,000 bill for landlord letting flats without planning consent

A landlord has been ordered to pay more than £400,000 after converting a property into flats without permission.

Gilbert Garrick let the property at West Norwood in south London as flats despite being told that he was breaching planning controls and contravening council planning policies.

He eventually pleaded guilty in court and was fined £30,000, ordered to pay the council’s costs of £15,000 and issued a confiscation order of £382,000 – the amount he had effectively made from rental income on the unauthorised flats.

Garrick was initially served a notice requesting he cease using the property as flats.  

He appealed against the notice, and after a lengthy public enquiry the appeal was dismissed by the planning inspectorate. However Garrick continued to ignore the notice, resulting in council officers seeking a prosecution for non-compliance. 

After a number of court hearings, Garrick eventually pleaded guilty and the matter was referred to Croydon Crown Court for confiscation proceedings.

Once paid, around a third of the £382,000 confiscation order will be kept by the council to fund further planning-compliance work, with the rest going to the Home Office and the courts.

Garrick initially has three months to pay the sums in full and if he fails to comply, he could face a prison sentence.

Lambeth council’s planning enforcement and legal teams worked with financial investigators from Brent council on the case.

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