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Landlord fined £450k for illegal letting

Words: Laura Edgar
POCA used to reclaim illegal rental earnings / Shutterstock_253769623

An Ealing landlord has been fined nearly £450,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) for illegally renting out outhouses and ignoring enforcement notices to demolish them.

Samina Nadeem, from Southall, purchased the property – 201 Scotts Road, Southall – in 2012. She then rented out the outhouses, which were illegally converted from garages to residential units, to five tenants.

Ealing Council issued Nadeem with a planning enforcement notice that asked her to stop letting the outhouses and demolish them in August 2014. This was ignored, and council officers stepped in to demolish the outbuilding and prosecuted Nadeem.

She pleaded not guilty at her trial in February 2017 at Ealing Magistrates’ Court, but was found guilty. The case was then put before Isleworth Crown Court for a confiscation order to be considered under the POCA. Unable to prove her income over the preceding six years was legal, Nadeem was fined £447,552.22, which is the equivalent to the total equity of her rental properties.

The fine must be paid by 18 January 2019, otherwise she will receive a four-year prison sentence. Nadeem was also fined a further £18,000.

Joanna Camadoo, Ealing Council’s lead member for community safety and inclusion, said: “We’re very pleased to get such a positive result at the end of a very long and drawn-out case. Throughout this process Mrs Nadeem and her husband have been obstructive and at times aggressive, using every trick in the book to stop our officers from doing their job and delay the legal process. She completely ignored our requests to act within the law – indeed, the only reason she stopped letting these substandard buildings was because we demolished them.”

Image credit | Shutterstock