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Graham Awards


Buy to let investor with £320,000-plus fines and costs loses control of properties

A landlord who has had previous conflicts with his local council has effectively lost control of his 16 private rental properties.

William Lao, a commercial landlord who owns 16 properties in Waltham Forest, has most recently been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs in connection with offences related to a failure to licence two HMOs. 

A year ago Lao was hit with court fines and costs of over £300,000 after he made extensions and alterations to various properties without being granted planning permission. On that occasion in addition to the financial penalty, all of the works carried out to his properties had to be demolished and the properties returned to their original condition.

However, although Lao has now applied for some licences, because he has previous convictions for planning and housing breaches, he will not be able to have direct control over the management and letting of his rented properties under the licensing regulations.

Instead he will have to nominate an approved individual to handle the properties’ affairs in his place.


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