Crown Court orders landlord to pay more than £406,000 in confiscation proceedings following an unlawful conversion

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The defendant converted her house in Hayes from a single-family dwelling into a large HMO, without planning permission. Hillingdon Borough Council served an enforcement notice for the unlawful conversion, requiring the defendant to revert the property back to a single-dwellinghouse.

The defendant failed to comply with the requirements of the enforcement notice and was prosecuted for non-compliance, under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, at Uxbridge Magistrate’s Court. The defendant continued to use the property as a large HMO, renting out rooms and outbuildings to 15 tenants, despite being prosecuted for the unlawful conversion of the dwellinghouse. Jointly with the trading standards department, Hillingdon Borough Council instigated the confiscation proceedings against the defendant. On 21 November 2019, Isleworth Crown Court ordered the landlord to pay more than £406,000, following confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The defendant was also ordered to pay £20,000 for the planning offence, in addition to the confiscation order, and the Council was awarded £4,019.46 for their prosecution costs. The defendant has been given three months to pay the money or face a prison sentence of five years.