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£400k confiscation order issued to Westminster landlord

Words: Laura Edgar
Money / iStock-185267728

A rogue Westminster landlord has been served with a confiscation order of £400,000 after illegally converting his three-bedroom home into eight flats.

Farook Owadally ignored warnings from planning officers at Westminster City Council for more than seven years.

The eight “tiny flats” were created across the basement, ground, first, second and third floors of his Maida Vale property without planning permission. The minimum space requirement of 37 square metres for new one-bedroom flats was not met – one measured 18 square metres.

They were rented out for £1,000 a month.

Enforcement notices were issued to Owadally in January 2012, requesting that the flats be removed and a third-floor extension demolished. They asked that the property be returned to its former condition – a shop with a maisonette above.

The council told Southwark Crown Court that Owadally made no attempts to engage with planning officers and, in particular the notices to stop using the flats.

He was fined £90,000 and ordered to pay £40,000 in costs, as well as the confiscation order.

Richard Beddoe, Westminster City Council cabinet member for place shaping and planning, said: “Unfortunately this is a straightforward case of the law catching up with an unscrupulous person.

“Our planning teams aren’t just ticking boxes and filling in forms for fun – we have planning rules for a reason, to make sure housing is fit for purpose and safe.

“We’ve made it our top priority to create more affordable homes for hardworking people and we’re on track to build a at least 1,850 of them by 2023.”

Owadally has three months to pay the confiscation order, and six months to pay costs and fines to the courts. 

Image credit | iStock