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Extraordinary £207,000 bill after flats are let without consent

A previously-convicted landlord has been ordered to pay over £200,000 by a court for illegally converting two properties into flats without planning permission and ignoring enforcement notices that were sent to him by his local council. 

The illegal accommodation which was rented out at properties in Willesden, north London, was of poor quality and not up to standards set by Brent council.

Criminal proceedings were issued for landlord Vijay Kara's failure to comply with the notices which required him to restore the properties to their original condition; he pleaded guilty to the charges.

He has now been served with a confiscation order of £187,600 for both properties, fined £10,000 and also ordered to pay costs of £10,000 by Harrow Crown Court.

A confiscation order is designed to take the profit out of crime by making the convicted defendant pay a sum of money, which represents the benefits of the crime, to the Crown.

"It's staggering that Mr Kara thought that he could get away with letting out illegal sub-standard accommodation, despite a conviction for the same offence in 2009. It’s so important for planning rules to be upheld, not just to protect what our streets look like, but to protect tenants from poor standard accommodation" says a council spokeswoman.

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