A rogue landlord who turned a Brent hotel into sub-standard apartments without council permission has been ordered to pay more than £338,000 in court fines.
Nihal Seneviratne, 59, of Kings Garden, West End Lane, Kilburn and his company, NSV Management Ltd, were convicted on September 5 last year for illegally turning a former hotel , in Nicoll Road, Harlesden, into 26 squalid studio flats in 2011.
In March 2012 Mr Seneviratne ignored a planning enforcement notice issued to him by Brent council and went on to cheat more than 100 vulnerable tenants out of thousands of pounds.
The minimum size requirement for a studio flat in London is 37m2 and Mr Seneviratne charged rent for apartments each measuring between 9m2 and 20m2, which failed to meet basic living standards.
The poorly insulated flats had thin walls and were badly maintained with tenants living in insanitary conditions.
Harrow Crown Court issued a £300,650 confiscation order to Mr Seneviratne's company under the Proceeds of Crime Act on August 30.
He was also ordered to pay £20,000 in fines as well as £18,268 to cover Brent Council's costs.
He has been given three months to pay the confiscation order in full, which will be distributed between the government, the courts and the council.
The judge described Mr Seneviratne's actions as "a clear and flagrant breach of planning law."
Cllr Harbi Farah, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: "Mr Seneviratne's illegal behaviour resulted in many tenants enduring atrocious conditions, which were making their lives a misery.
"The outcome of this long case is a victory against slum landlords who exploit vulnerable residents for a profit. Brent Council will make sure that rogue landlords will not benefit in any way from their crimes."
Cllr Tom Miller, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, said: "These flats didn't come close to meeting minimum standards required under planning policy.
"Rogue landlords who contravene the planning rules can expect robust action to be taken against them."
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