Mukhtiar Chhokar – a landlord based near Birmingham – has been ordered to pay more than £14,000 in legal costs after allowing tenants to live in an upgraded outbuilding.
In 2012, Mr Chhokar applied for planning permission to use the building, in the garden of his Sutton Coldfield property, as a separate dwelling with two bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom.
However, due to inadequate access and other issues, planners refused the application.
A second planning application was also rejected by Birmingham City Council, but Mr Chhokar ignored warnings from officers and continued to let out the building.
Mike Sharpe, leader of the council’s planning committee, said: “This is the first Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) confiscation order that Birmingham’s planning department has ever done.
“It sends a clear message out to the public that if you are to undertake works or a building use which results in an enforcement notice and there are financial benefits from not obeying the notice, then we will consider using POCA and claim the money back in full.”
Through its first confiscation order, the council has collected £4,891 from the rogue landlord, which is the total amount of rent he took from tenants after the date he was told to stop letting out the building.
Mr Chhokar was also ordered to pay a fine and the local authority’s legal fees.
Richard Goulborn – the council’s chief planning officer – stated that some of the money from the fines will be used to help enforce planning and landlord policy in future cases.
Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London
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