A landlord in west London has been ordered to pay £430,000 for illegally renting out her property to 15 tenants.
Gurdeep Kaur, Hayes, converted her house from a single-family dwelling into a large House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without planning permission.
The illegal activity came to light following a 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 despite previously being issued with an enforcement notice ordering her to change the property back to a single house.
The case, which was a joint action by Hillingdon Council’s planning enforcement and trading standards teams, went to Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court where Kaur was convicted of one offence under the Town and Country Planning Act.
The case was then referred to the Crown Court because Kaur was found to have profited from a criminal lifestyle under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
Kaur was ordered to pay £406,712 and fined £20,000 for the planning offence. The council was also awarded £4,019.46 in prosecution costs.
Cllr Keith Burrows, Hillingdon Council cabinet member, 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.’