A rogue landlord in Slough has been prosecuted, after illegally letting flats to tenants.
After being refused planning permission, 57 year-old Talwinder Singh went ahead and built a block of six flats on Waterbeach Road in Slough. He received a planning enforcement notice in September 2010, but this did not stop him from illegally letting out all six flats to tenants.
He continued to claim that the property had been returned to a single dwelling, as stated in the planning enforcement notice. This is what he told the council, however, it was later discovered that he had lied.
Talwinder Singh had in fact installed temporary kitchens within the flats, made so that they could be easily dismantled and moved elsewhere, in the event that council officers visited the building. The windows for the attic floor rooms were also removed, in order to give the impression that no one was living up there. This meant that the tenants renting that space, which included children, were left without natural light.
Despite registering the building with the council as a single property, this did not prevent him from charging the tenants additional fees for council tax.
Joe Cart, director of regeneration at Slough Borough Council, has said: “People and families in Slough deserve good accommodation and landlords who are not overcharging them for services they are not providing.”
Singh was issued a 15-month prison sentence at Reading Court, suspended for 18months. He has been fined £25,000 and ordered to pay a further £266,177 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Neil Wilcox, Director of Finance and Resources at Slough, commented: “This successful prosecution is a result of a thorough and painstaking investigation by the council’s Fraud Team and has led to the recovery of a significant amount of lost council tax.”
During the hearing on 21st March, the council was awarded £18,826 in compensation for lost council tax and £23,130 in prosecution costs.