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Landlord Hit with Over £220k Fine for Illegal Flats Conversion

In a significant legal victory for Haringey Council, a landlord who unlawfully converted a Bounds Green property into six flats has been ordered to cough up more than £220,000. The penalty comes after Pathfield Estates Ltd ignored a previous enforcement notice to revert a property from five illegally converted flats back to its original state.

Following a 2020 investigation that revealed a further unauthorised conversion into six flats, Pathfield Estates Ltd faced conviction at Highbury Magistrates Court in 2021 for breaching the 2008 enforcement notice. The matter was subsequently escalated to the Crown Court for sentencing and the initiation of confiscation proceedings under the Proceedings of Crime Act (POCA).

Pathfield Estates Ltd attempted to overturn the conviction with appeals to both the Crown Court and the High Court, both of which were dismissed. The High Court’s decision also imposed an £11,100 cost order on the company to cover the Council’s legal expenses.

The final sentencing handed down required the company to pay a total of £226,433.18, encompassing a £50,000 fine for non-compliance with the enforcement notice, £163,258 under POCA to account for the financial gains from the unauthorized conversion, and an additional £13,175.18 in costs.

Cllr Sarah Williams, Haringey Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing Services, Private Renters and Planning, expressed the council’s resolve against non-compliant landlords, stating, “This conviction serves as a warning to disreputable landlords operating in our borough. Our residents deserve to live in safe, high-quality homes and we will not hesitate to take strong action if landlords flout planning laws or leave tenants to languish in poor conditions. I want to thank our planning enforcement team who worked tirelessly to get this result.”

This case underscores Haringey Council’s commitment to enforcing housing standards and planning laws, ensuring that residents have access to safe and decent housing.