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A rogue landlord has been fined £136,000 after he illegally converted a house in Chiswick into five unauthorised flats without council planning permission and collected rent from tenants.
Chiswick landlord Morteza Dehghan Nayeri was also told that he must pay legal costs of £16,000 after being sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday June 1 2018.
The court case and sentence came following investigations by the council’s planning enforcement team in 2013. A visit from the team to the self-contained flats revealed that there were cramped living conditions, poor natural light and a complete lack of rubbish and recycling facilities. This meant that the property was not fit for human habitation and left the tenants suffering in negligible conditions.
As a result of the investigations, the council issued an enforcement notice. A prosecution was then brought forward, which resulted in a fine of £22,561.
However, it then wasn’t until 2018 that Mr Nayeri eventually complied with the notice to bring the property up to scratch. During this time, the council’s financial investigator made an application for the provision of financial information under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This revealed that Mr Nayeri earned £116,000 from the rent he had collected from tenants at the flats over the years that he was letting the property illegally.
The council’s deputy leader, Lily Bath, said: ’The council takes crime very seriously. After years of pursuit, not only has Mr Nayeri been prosecuted, but we’ve recovered the £116,000 he gained as well as an additional £20,000. Mr Nayeri failed to recognise the seriousness of what he was doing and held complete disregard for the law. This is one of the biggest fines we’ve managed to secure of this nature, and through our zero-tolerance approach there’ll be many more with the help of legislation.’