Double trouble for rogue landlord
A rogue landlord who was originally jailed in February last year, has now been convicted under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Siddarth Mahajan, of Milton Crescent, Ilford, was last year sentenced to 12 weeks in jail for falsifying documents in an attempt to prevent enforcement action relating to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
On Friday 28 February 2020, he stood trial once again at Snaresbrook Crown Court for a confiscation hearing where Barking and Dagenham Council recovered £30,000 from criminal conduct. Mr Mahajan will receive a 12 month prison sentence if there is a default on payment and he has three months to pay.
The judge also ordered the defendant to pay a contribution towards the prosecution costs of £25,000 to be paid within nine months.
Mr Mahajan falsely claimed that the property had been in use as a HMO for more than 10 years and was therefore immune from enforcement action. He produced a number of documents to support this claim including several tenancy agreements, a letter from an estate agent and a sworn affidavit which appeared to show that the property had been a HMO as far back as 2008.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “I hope this serves as a stark warning to disreputable landlords that we will continue to come after them for their money even if they have been previously prosecuted.
“The council will not stand by and let our residents live in cramped properties that are harmful to their wellbeing. We will use every legal measure at our disposal to ensure homes are of a decent standard, the integrity of the planning regime is maintained and dishonest landlords do not profit from the misery of their tenants.”