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A record - huge £700,000 bill after buy to lets deemed 'sub-standard'

A landlord guilty of breaching a planning enforcement notice has been ordered to pay £700,000 in fines and costs - the biggest ever sum imposed by a council. 

Saied Rahmdezfouli was ordered to pay the sum in recent days, but was originally found guilty of planning offences back in 2015. 

A court in Wood Green, north London, heard that in September 2006 the council had refused Rahmdezfouli’s proposal to convert a semi-detached family home at Cricklewood into nine flats.

But Rahmdezfouli ignored Barnet council and went on to subdivide his property illegally and rented rooms out which were substandard in size and poorly designed.

The council served a planning enforcement notice against Rahmdezfouli in March 2007 which was followed up by legal action. 

Over a number of years Rahmdezfouli made numerous court appearances, while at the same time continuing to let his property.

Using special powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to identify and calculate the criminal benefit that Rahmdezfouli had received from rental income, a new hearing was heard recently. 

At it, the judge made a confiscation order against Rahmdezfouli for £555,954.49, which was the profit generated from his criminal conduct.

If he fails to comply with this confiscation order within a three month period, he faces a default prison sentence of five years and four months. In addition, he will also have to pay a £65,000 fine for the planning offences and £80,000 in costs.

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    Great news for Barnet council, but why did it take so long? It must have been a clear cut case, the property is legal or not legal, so why can't the "legal system" sort this out in months and not years? This started in 2007!! No wonder corrupt landlords are laughing all the way to the bank at the tenants expense?? I am sure we can do better than this?

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