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No HMO and the extension must go

A Walthamstow landlord who took it upon himself to have an extension built on the back of a property he owned without obtaining planning permission found himself in front of Thames Magistrates Court recently.

Mr Mohammed Farooq Arif of 46 Gainsford Road, Walthamstow had converted his property at 36 Goldsmith Road, Leyton, into two flats and added a large rear extension without obtaining planning permission.

An enforcement notice was issued by Waltham Forest Council in February 2012, requiring him to remove the rear extension and put the property back to a single dwelling.

Mr Arif appealed the notice and lost, giving him until 4 May 2013 to comply with the enforcement notice. Council officers visited the property on 15 May 2013 and found that while the owner had de-converted the house from an HMO (House of Multiple Occupation), he failed to remove the extension.

As a result a prosecution case was started shortly afterwards and the matter went before Thames Magistrates on 7 March 2014. Mr Arif pleaded guilty and was fined £5,000, ordered to pay full costs of £1,868 and a £120 victim surcharge.

The court also issued a collection order giving Mr Arif 28 days to pay in full and Waltham Forest Council wrote to him giving him 28 days to demolish the extension, advising him that if he does not they will consider taking direct action to remove it.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, said, “The Council takes very seriously its role to protect the quality of housing in the borough and will track down landlords who think they can simply side-step the planning process.

“This is a very good example of a property that has not only been extended without permission, but also converted inappropriately into two households. Both courses of action have a significant impact on both the property in question and those around it. Such changes should only take place where it is justified and appropriate.

“As this example illustrates, where landlords take it upon themselves to build extensions without gaining planning permission, or to carve up a single property in order to make more profit, they will find themselves in court. The result will invariably leave them thousands of pounds out of pocket and with the added problem of having to demolish what they have had built.”PHOTO: The illegal extension that the owner is now being pursued to demolish.

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