Landlord fined thousands for illegally converting Barking home into seven flats

A landlord who illegally converted a Barking home into seven studio flats has been given three months to pay over £100,000 in fines.

Nazmul Haq, 54, altered a five-bed family home in Strathfield Gardens into seven one-bedroom properties without consent from the council.

The landlord, who lives in Tower Hamlets, even built a rear extension to the property without applying for planning permission.

We issued Mr Haq with an enforcement notice in March 2014 informing him he must return the property to a family home within six months – but he failed to comply.

Enforcement officers were initially unable to gain access to the property but when they finally did, in May 2015, they found the premises continued to be used as seven individual flats.

Mr Haq was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 24 March this year for breaching Section 179 of the Town and County Planning Act 1990.

On 22 September, Mr Haq was issued with an £80,000 confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act. He has three months to pay or face a two-year prison sentence.

He was also ordered to pay a £7,500 fine and £14,376 to the council in costs.

‘Take action against landlords who put profit ahead of people’

Councillor Laila Butt, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: “We will use whatever powers available to us to take action against illegal landlords who put profit ahead of people.

“We are determined to send a clear message to those landlords who flout the law that we will do our utmost to ensure they do not benefit from their crimes.”

The case was prosecuted by the council’s in house legal team and the money recovered under the confiscation order will be split between the council, the government and the court service.