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Landlord forks out for illegal conversion

Published Wednesday, 28 January 2015

A landlord who illegally converted a two bedroom house into three separate properties and rented them out for £1,800 pcm, has been ordered to pay more than £90,000 within six months or face two years in jail.

Ali Halil Ibrahim Halabi, 65, of Munster Gardens, Palmers Green, pleaded guilty to breaching an enforcement notice issued by Enfield Council at Wood Green Crown Court in Lordship Lane, Wood Green on 22 January.

He was ordered to pay a fine of £5,000 for the breach of the planning enforcement notice, costs of £6,219.50 and a £81,625 confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which represented profit he had made from renting out the illegally converted property.

The court heard that Halabi had received planning consent for a two storey extension to a property in Deansway, Edmonton but instead built a self-contained two bedroom home onto the side of the existing building and a separate outbuilding, all of which he rented out for profit.

He was instructed to convert the property into the format dictated by his planning permission but had repeatedly refused, leading to his prosecution by the Council.

Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety, Cllr Chris Bond, said: "We don't appreciate people ignoring planning rules because it suits them and helps them make a quick buck.

"These rules are in place for the benefit of the community, to ensure building standards are maintained and prevent uncontrolled development in our communities. This individual thought he could play the system and ignore the rules, but the fact that he is going to pay out more than £90,000 or go to prison shows he was very wrong.

"He'll is still required to convert the building back to the state its meant to be in, so that will cost him even more."

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