Barking and Dagenham Council have secured a huge sum in fines against a rogue landlord.
Zoofshan Malik, of Upney Lane, Barking, has been forced to pay £235,000 for renting out illegal bedsits described as ‘filthy’ following an investigation by enforcement officers.
Malik was also subject to a proceeds of crime case, which was was brought after the council argued she had benefited from her offence following an earlier hearing on the illegal extension. Snaresbrook Crown Court ordered the landlord to pay the fine after she initially pleaded guilty to renting flats in an illegal extension to her property in Longbridge Road at £2,850 per month.
Following an anonymous tip-off about the extension, officers from the council’s planning enforcement team raided the property. This led to the discovery of the four flats, which were rented out through Emerson Knight Estates Ltd, of which Malik was a director.
The rogue landlord was ordered by the court to pay a £222,000 Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in three months. Failure to do this would lead to two years’ imprisonment. Malik was also fined £2,000 for the illegal extension, plus £11,649 in costs.
When sentencing her, the court took into account Malik’s criminal lifestyle. It had been uncovered during the investigation that she earned a rental income of £108,000 but was also in possession of unidentifiable cash deposits and guilty of tax avoidance.
37.5 per cent of the £222,000 sum goes to the council to be spent on fighting crime with 50 per cent going to the government government and 12.5 per cent going to the court service.
Barking and Dagenham’s cabinet member for community safety and enforcement Laila Butt commented that the victory reflected the ‘magnificent work’ of the council’s legal team. She said: ‘This illegal extension and filthy flats would not have looked out of place in a Rio slum. Through our tough enforcement action, they have been demolished so no one else has to suffer such bad living conditions.’