Landlord struck with huge fine after cramming 28 flats into four houses

Rogue landlord fined £320,000

A rogue landlord has been struck with an enormous £320,000 fine after cramming 28 flats into four houses.

Vispasp Sarkari has six months to find the money or he will be jailed for three and a half years.

Joint action was taken against Sarkari by planning enforcement officers from Harrow and Brent Councils, after the landlord flouted regulations in both boroughs.

The investigation followed Brent Council’s prosecution which led to the 50-year-old being convicted of cramming four flats into a terraced house in Wembley.

The two planning enforcement teams pooled their resources to use recent powers that enable councils to seek to recover the proceeds of crime.

The case related to the failure to comply with the requirements of planning enforcement notices for properties in Kenmore Road, Kenton, Nolton Place, Edgware, High Road, Wealdstone, and London Road, Wembley.

Sarkari’s fine is based on rent money collected from tenants who lived in the properties from 2005.

On top of a £303,000 fine under the proceeds of crime, the criminal, of Ivanhoe Drive, Harrow, was also ordered to pay a fine of £7,515 for the breach of the planning regulations and legal costs of more than £18,000.

HM Treasury will receive 50 percent of the money and the rest will be divided between Harrow Council, Brent Council, Harrow and Brent Trading Standards, and the court collection agency.

Keith Ferry, Harrow Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Enterprise, was stoked by the result.

“I am delighted that we have been able to send out a clear message that we will not allow people to profit from illegal conversions,” he said.

“This landlord ignored planning rules designed to ensure that the quality of accommodation in the boroughs is maintained and that the environment for surrounding residents is protected.

“He ignored the council’s notices. As a result, he profited hugely from this sub standard accommodation. 

“This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated in Harrow and I am delighted to see this man brought to justice thanks to the tremendous joint investigation work of dedicated planning enforcement teams in Harrow and Brent.”