Record breaking fine following planning breach

It's not looking like a very merry Christmas for one landlord, who is now the unlucky record-holder of the biggest ever fine for a planning breach - possibly not one for the family scrapbook.

A Cricklewood landlord is unlikely to be feeling very festive, having just been slammed with a £700,000 fine after breaching Barnet Council’s planning enforcement rules.

The semi-detached property, which landlord Saied Rahmdezfouli had converted into nine flats, had previously had planning permission refused in 2006.

Despite this, Mr Rahmdezfouli proceeded with the development, and has been letting the nine properties, despite them being ‘substandard in size and poorly designed.’

Wood Green Crown Court ruled that Mr Rahmdezfouli must pay back a more than £700,000 in total -£555,954.49 in profit generated from the illegal tenancies, a £65,000 fine for the planning offences and £80,000 in legal fees. This is a record-breaking fine for this sort of offence – although probably not a record Mr Rahmdezfouli is proud to be the holder of!

Due to his inability to raise the cash, the property is being repossessed and will be sold at auction this week at a figure of £675,000. If Mr Rahmdezfouli is unable to pay the balance in full following the sale of the property, he faces a prison sentence of over five years.

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