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Landlord faces £300,000 bill for illegal flats after action from Islington Council

A property company has been ordered to pay £304,458 under the Proceeds of Crime Act in a planning enforcement case brought by Islington Council.

The verdict, which was handed down at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday, 23 April 2018, is the largest payment ever ordered for a planning enforcement case in Islington.

Etek Developments (Tufnell Park) Limited, and its director, Eusebiu Sebastian Tudor, pleaded guilty at Highbury Magistrates Court on 7 September 2017 for failure to comply with a planning enforcement notice served by Islington Council in 2009.

The company’s property, 180 Tufnell Park Road, London, N7 0EE, had been converted from a single dwelling into five flats without planning permission. In the council’s view the flats provided inadequate and substandard residential accommodation, in contravention of its planning policies.

Despite warning letters to seek compliance with the enforcement notice, and regular reminders and clear instructions on what to do, Etek ignored the notice and continued to rent out the substandard accommodation. The company sought permission to reduce the number of flats in the property to 3 self-contained units, which was granted, but the conversion did not take place and the company allowed the planning permission to lapse, continuing to rent out the five flats that had been created without permission.

Etek was fined £8,000 in addition to paying £304,458 under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and Etek’s director Eusebiu Tudor was also fined £12,000. Etek and Mr Tudor were together ordered to pay the council’s costs of £9,948.44, along with a £15.00 surcharge.

Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development, said:

“We are delighted with the result of this case - the council’s planning policies are clear and are there to protect residents.  Everyone deserves a decent home to live in.

“This case should serve as a warning to landlords considering flouting planning laws – Islington Council will not tolerate this and will take legal action where necessary.”

Notes to Editor:

  • Case number: NPLN 2727 Etek Developments (Tufnell Park) Ltd and Eusebiu Tudor.