£339,000 fine for London landlord

A landlord has been hit with a fine of nearly £339,000, following a series of breaches of council planning laws, laws, and failures to meet basic living standards.

London-based landlord, Nihal Seneviratne, and his company NSV Management Ltd were convicted by Harrow Crown Court for carving a former hotel into 26 studio flats. Brent Council brought the case to the court after a planning enforcement notice was issued regarding the minimum size of the properties.

The minimum size requirement for a studio flat in London is 37sqm, however the size for the flats in which over 100 tenants were living measured between 9sqm and 20sqm – meaning they failed to meet the council’s basic living standards. There were also reports of poor maintenance of the properties as well as the fact that the tenants were living in insanitary conditions.

Seneviratne’s actions were a “a clear and flagrant breach of planning law” according to the judge, who gave the landlord three months to pay the confiscation order in full, which will be distributed between the government, the courts and the council.

Mr Seneviratne's illegal behaviour resulted in many tenants enduring atrocious conditions, which were making their lives a misery. The outcome of this long case is a victory against slum landlords who exploit vulnerable residents for a profit. Brent Council will make sure that rogue landlords will not benefit in any way from their crimes.

Cllr Harbi Farah, cabinet member for housing and welfare reform

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