Joint action by Hillingdon Council’s planning enforcement and trading standards teams has seen a Hayes landlord ordered to pay more than £430,000 after she turned her property into an illegal House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
At Isleworth Crown Court on 21 November, Gurdeep Kaur, aged 47, of Cavendish Close, Hayes was ordered to pay more than £406,000 following confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
The defendant had unlawfully converted her house in First Avenue, Hayes from a single-family dwelling into a large HMO without having the necessary planning permission to do so.
The council said that the conversion came to light following an intelligence-led multi-agency operation with the Home Office's immigration team and planning enforcement officers in May 2017.
They found Kaur had continued to illegally use the property as a large HMO, renting out rooms and the outbuilding to 15 tenants, despite previously being issued with an enforcement notice ordering her to change the property back to a single house.
In June last year Kaur was convicted at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court of one offence under the Town and Country Planning Act.
At the sentencing she was ordered to pay, in addition to the confiscation order, £20,000 for the planning offence. The council was also awarded £4,019.46 in prosecution costs.
The defendant has three months to pay the money or face a prison sentence of five years. She will still have to pay the money back, the council said.
Cllr Keith Burrows, Hillingdon’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Transportation and Recycling, said: "This is the highest amount the council has ever secured using proceeds of crime laws. Gurdeep Kaur blatantly flouted the law and for that she must pay a hefty sum. Let this be a warning that we will take robust enforcement action to stamp out illegal activity."