An East London landlady has been fined a massive £235k and ordered to hand over the money within three months or face a two-year jail sentence. The landlady was caught out by housing officers from Barking council. After receiving an anonymous tip-off, housing officers raided an illegal bed-in-shed development built in the back garden owned by the landlady.
Illegal Extension in Landlady’s Back Garden
The illegal extension was only 37 feet long, so each room was very small. The conditions were described as “squalid”, yet the four rooms were being charged out at £2,850 a week. Indeed, conditions for the tenants were so bad housing officers described the rooms as more akin to a Rio favela than a legitimate rental accommodation.
A Victory for Tenants
‘This is a victory for tenants, decent landlords and the dogged determination of our diligent investigation and enforcement officers,” said Councillor Laila Butt, who also happens to be a Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement.
“Through our tough enforcement action they have been demolished so no one else has to suffer such bad living conditions,” she added.
The landlady has also been ordered by the court to pay an extra £2,000 fine for the illegal extension, which also must be paid within three months. She has an additional £11,649 in costs to pay, too.
Sadly, despite the huge fine, slum landlords continue to flout the law and rent out illegal beds in sheds, as in property hotspots like London, there is a lot of money to be made.