Landlords ordered to pay £350k+ for ‘beds in sheds’ after council prosecution

Three landlords have been ordered to pay more than £350,000 in fines, confiscation order and costs after being prosecuted by Hounslow Council for having so-called ‘beds in sheds’.

At a hearing at Isleworth Crown Court on 15 October, Brian Linskey and Catherine Hallahan were ordered to pay £265,000 after they constructed three outbuildings to the rear of their properties in Whitton Dene, Hounslow.

According to the council, planning enforcement officers visited the properties where they found three people living in “appalling” conditions when they visited in 2019.

The local authority claimed  that, after being warned by officers, Linskey and Hallahan ignored attempts to regularise the situation and continued to rent out the properties.

They subsequently pleaded guilty and it was determined by the Court that they had earned in excess of £225,469.04 by renting out the outbuildings.

All this money will now return to the public purse via the Proceeds of Crime Act, Hounslow said.

Another landlord, Muhammad Efzal of East London was meanwhile prosecuted and ordered to pay £72,495.89 at a hearing on the same day at Isleworth Crown Court.

Efzal had been found guilty of renting out ‘beds in shed’ in a property which he purchased at auction, on Wood Lane, Osterley.

The council said the defendant purchased the property knowing the unit could not be legally occupied. “However, despite officers’ warnings he continued to rent out the property. When officers inspected the property in November 2019 it was found to be occupied by six students living in extremely appalling conditions, with some sleeping on the floor.”

Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: “The majority of landlords provide an excellent service to residents by providing good quality homes to rent. We will not let a few rotten apples spoil it for everyone else.”

Last month Ealing Council obtained confiscations orders worth nearly £500,000 from private sector landlords who failed to comply with planning enforcement notices the local authority had issued.

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