Dagenham landlord fined thousands for illegal outbuilding

A landlord who continued to adapt their property illegally despite warnings from the council has been found guilty of ignoring an Enforcement Notice from Barking and Dagenham Council to reduce the size of an outbuilding he had constructed.

Council enforcement officers became aware of the outbuilding in the rear garden of 78 Mayfield Road, Dagenham after it was reported to them by a neighbour.

Officers visited the property on 28 October 2019 and found the outbuilding to be of a height of 2.9m, which would require it to have full planning permission.

As a result, a Notice was served on 12 November 2019 outlining that the height of the outbuilding must be reduced to at least 2.5 metres.

Officers revisited the property in 2021 and although the height had been reduced, it was still 26 centimetres over the permitted height.

As a result, the case went to Barkingside Magistrates Court on Tuesday 15 August where the landlord Mr Abid Mushtaq was found guilty of failing to comply with an Enforcement Notice regarding an over height outbuilding contrary to Section 179 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The judge ordered Mr Mushtaq to pay a fine of £750, costs to Barking and Dagenham Council of £1,500 and a Victim Surcharge of £75, totalling £2,325.

Mr Mushtaq is also being investigated for illegally running a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) from the same property.

In 2017 council officers served Planning Enforcement Notices after it was discovered that the property had been subdivided without permission and the upper floor was being used as a HMO.

In 2019, officers revisited to see if the requirements of the notice had been complied with. Although the changes had been made, the whole property was now being used as a HMO without a licence.

This case also went to court and Mr Mushtaq pleaded guilty on 22 September last year and has been committed to Snaresbrook Crown Court for sentencing at a later date.

Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “We welcome landlords who want to operate in the borough, but they must follow the rules and provide quality accommodation for their tenants as well as obtain a licence.

“Mr Mushtaq failed to comply with our requirements and Enforcement Notices and now faces two huge fines.”

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