Rogue Hayes landlord ordered to pay £430,000 or face jail
Thursday 28 November: A Hayes landlord has been ordered to pay more than £430,000 after turning her property into an illegal House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
The case was joint action by Hillingdon Council's planning enforcement and trading standards teams.
At Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday 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 action was taken to remove Kaur's ill-gotten gains, calculated at more than £406,000 after she pocketed thousands in rent.
Kaur 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.
Kaur's illegal activity 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.
When the case went to Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on 20 June 2018, Kaur was convicted of one offence under the Town and Country Planning Act.
The case was referred to the Crown Court because Kaur was found to have profited from a criminal lifestyle under POCA.
At the confiscation hearing, 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. Kaur has three months to pay the money or face a prison sentence of five years, and she will still have to pay the money back.
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."