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£250,000 bill for firm illegally converting house into flats to let

A building firm that carried out illegal building work to create homes to let has been hit with a £250,000 confiscation order.

The order, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, has been obtained by Brent council against a company which let out an illegally converted house. 

The property had been converted from a single dwelling into five self-contained flats including the construction of an outbuilding in the back garden. The property additionally suffered from severe mould and fungus growth, putting the health of the residents at risk.

The council demolished the outbuilding but the owner continued to rent out the individual flats.  

Back in July Brent council has prosecuted the company, Minamax Ltd, for breaches of planning law. However, Minamax Ltd was registered in the British Virgin Islands and an investigation to find the individuals behind the company was unsuccessful.

Therefore Brent has now applied - successfully - for the restraint order to prevent the sale of the property without a court order.  

A confiscation order was obtained on December 1 at Harrow crown court with the £250,000 representing the rental income that the company had made.  The company has also been ordered to pay £20,000 in costs to Brent council.

Under a Home Office scheme, Brent will receive approximately £90,000 when the order is paid.

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