A ROGUE landlord has been ordered to pay more than £200,000 or face prison after being taken to court following an investigation by planning officers.
Michael Aslam, of Reading, had pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court to two offences of breaching planning enforcement notices.
The matter was referred to Isleworth Crown Court for sentencing and a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Aslam had been ordered by Hillingdon Council officers to demolish an outbuilding at the rear of a property he owns in Sipson Road, Sipson.
It had been occupied and used as a ‘bed in shed’. He had also been illegally using the house and neighbouring property as a hotel without permission, and had been ordered to stop.
He failed to comply on both counts and continued to gain financially from illegal rental income.
Aslam was fined £7,500 for each of the two offences of breaching enforcement notices, to be paid within six months, or to serve a year in prison in default.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act the judge ordered that Aslam must pay back £170,000 in full within six months, or serve 30 months in prison in default.
This is to be divided between the council, HM Treasury and the Courts and Tribunals Service.
Aslam was furthered ordered to pay the council’s legal costs in the sum of £17,676 within six months.
Cllr Keith Burrows, cabinet member for planning, transport and recycling, said: “This is a great courtroom victory for the council and I am delighted the judge has recognised how much work and effort has gone into this case.
“It is totally unacceptable for rogue landlords to line their pockets with ill-gotten gains and allow families to live in poor conditions. I hope this sends out a clear message.”