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Pay-back time: Court tells buy to let couple to refund over £330,000

A court has ordered a husband and wife pair of buy to let investors to pay back £322,282 in illegal income.

A confiscation order was made at Harrow Crown Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 against Mohammad Ishaq and Shamim Akhtar, both of Neasden.

They had pleaded guilty to planning offences back in May but the case was then referred to Harrow Crown Court for confiscation and sentencing.


On top of the confiscation order, they were each fined £10,000 for their failure to comply with planning enforcement notices on properties they own in Willesden and Harlesden, and were ordered to pay the costs of Brent council, which brought the case.

A number of terraced houses in Brent had been converted into a total of 18 flats without planning permission. 

The couple subsequently lost appeals against Brent's enforcement notices, which ordered them to undo the works. Despite written warnings from the council, they ignored the problem and failed to comply with the notices for several years.

The couple have 12 weeks to pay unless they convince the court for extra time. The judge specified that failure to pay the sum would lead to imprisonment for two years.

Under the rules of the Proceeds of Crime Act, part of the money will come back to Brent council to fund further enforcement work.

The result comes just a few weeks after a record £1.4m confiscation order was made against a different landlord in the same court, also for planning offences.

A council spokesman says: "These individuals showed a blatant disregard for planning rules by renting out shoddy accommodation and have now paid the price. Once again, Brent has shown that ignoring enforcement notices simply doesn't pay."


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