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Rogue landlord given just three months to pay huge £300k fine

A landlord who was found guilty of illegally converting a hotel into 26 flats has been given three months to pay fines totalling £338,000.

Nihal Seneviratne, 59, and his company, NSV Management Ltd, were convicted last September. An appeal was dismissed in January with confiscation proceedings beginning now.

The landlord has been issued with a £300,650 confiscation order and also ordered to pay £20,000 in fines and £18,268 to cover Brent Council's court costs.

He has been given three months to pay the confiscation order in full, which will be distributed between the government, the courts and the council.

Seneviratne made a 'clear and flagrant breach of planning law' when he turned a former hotel in Harlesden, North London, into 26 studio flats without seeking council permission back in 2011.

He was issued with an enforcement notice in March 2012 but failed to comply.

Brent Council reports that the landlord went on to house over 100 vulnerable tenants, earning thousands of pounds by letting sub-standard accommodation.

The flats each measured between 9 meters squared and 20 metres squared, despite the minimum size for a studio flat in the capital being set at 37 metres squared.

The accommodation was also noted for having poor insulation, thin walls, bad maintenance and insanitary conditions.

"Mr Seneviratne's illegal behaviour resulted in many tenants enduring atrocious conditions, which were making their lives a misery," said Councillor Harbi Farah, Brent Council's Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform.

"The outcome of this long case is a victory against slum landlords who exploit vulnerable residents for a profit."

Councillor Tom Miller, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, added: "These flats didn't come close to meeting minimum standards required under planning policy.” 

“Rogue landlords who contravene the planning rules can expect robust action to be taken against them."

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    9 meters squared and 20 metres squared.........the minimum size for a studio flat in the capital being set at 37 metres squared.

    Sorry but this is not good. 9m squared = 81 sq m ( 9 x 9 = 81) and 20m squared = 400 sq m (20 x 20 = 400) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rightly 37 m square is the minimum size for a flat in the capital and not what you have foolishly stated.

    Dear Connor,
    Please go back to school and try to understand what you have stated in this report. Squared is the same number used twice.

    You must now stand in the corner with the dunces hat on for 15 minutes so that the whole class can see what a fool you are.

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