Are we now seeing the justice system catching up
Are we now seeing the justice system catching up with some of the behaviours currently happening in the world of property rent?
I recently read an article about a rogue landlord who flaunted the planning law and despite having consent to convert his semi-detached house to nine flats declined, proceeded with the project.
It seems the London landlord was ordered to pay more than £700,000 after breaching the planning rules of Barnet Council.
The London property was converted to nine flats and then subsequently rented out. The flats appear to be standard in size and poorly designed.
From the information, I could find the process started back in 2006 and a very lengthy investigation was undertaken which then led to court proceedings. The court has made the London landlord pay back the £555,954.49 profit he generated from the illegal tenancies, in addition the landlord was fined £65,000 for the planning offences and £80,000 in legal costs.
Although this appears to be a record-breaking amount for a court to set for planning offences, if the landlord does not pay the full amount within three months he will face about 5yrs in jail, which equates to just over £100k a year. I know of a few who would happily go to jail and earn £100k a year.
It is great to see that the courts and councils are now catching up with rogue landlords to reduce the impact they have on the majority of legal and moral landlords. However, it would be nice to see the legal system catch up with rogue tenants who play the system when it comes to being evicted from a property.
Will this level of fines stop rogue landlords or will they continue to play the percentage game and hope they don’t get caught?