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Couple to pay £75,000 for letting homes without consent

A couple from Cambridgeshire have been fined £10,000 and ordered to hand over in excess of £75,000 after repeatedly renting out two homes without permission.

Syed Moshin Akhtar, 73, and his wife Ilyas Fatima Akhtar, 67, of Heydon were ordered to hand over the rent at a sentencing and confiscation hearing at the Old Bailey.

The homes at the former barns on a Cambridgeshire farm were refused planning for conversion into residential homes in 2003 and then secured permission to be converted to offices the following year. 

However, the Akhtars chose to let the units as full time unfurnished homes.

South Cambridgeshire District Council took action against the pair, serving an enforcement notice to stop them renting out units illegally.

A further planning application in 2009 saw planning permission granted for conversion to holiday homes but the couple chose to rent the properties out again as full time unfurnished residential properties and further council action was taken.

The Old Bailey Judge ordered the couple to handover £75,745.11 they had collected in rent, fined them a further £10,000 and awarded South Cambridgeshire District Council their legal costs of £16,000 which the pair will pay.

The rental income was recovered using a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

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    Rightly deserved, it's about time councils implement a fair and just planning system for all,developers have to pay considerable amounts of fees to obtain lawful use of developments and obtain the planning uses of their developments this couple had total disregard for the law and were acting unlawfully so they should be treated the same as criminals who break the law.

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