Hounslow Council’s £250k confiscation haul is its biggest ever

Hounslow based landlord Balkar Singh from Nicholes Road, Hounslow has received a confiscation order totalling a quarter of a million pounds following his conviction for a serious planning offence.

Published: Friday, 9th August 2019

Hounslow Council logo in blue

Hounslow based landlord Balkar Singh from Nicholes Road, Hounslow has received a confiscation order totalling a quarter of a million pounds following his conviction for a serious planning offence dating back to August 2018. 

Mr Singh’s fine of £246,000, plus a separate fine of £8,000, plus the Council’s costs amounted to the biggest confiscation haul in Hounslow’s history and the fourth biggest in England this year. 

In February 2008, Hounslow’s Planning Enforcement Officers served an enforcement notice against Mr Singh after he illegally converted his property into two separate flats.  The notice required him to return the property to its intended use.  Although Mr. Singh complied with the notice in 2009, sometime afterwards he converted the property back to two flats again. 

Council officers together with Hounslow Police visited in 2016 and found one of the flats to be occupied by tenants who were paying Mr Singh £900 per month in rent. Mr Singh continued to ignore the enforcement notice and in 2018, at Isleworth Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to one offence contrary to the Town & Country Planning Act 1990. 

Following his conviction the Council’s financial investigator pursued a confiscation investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. It was established that Mr Singh had a ‘criminal lifestyle’, as defined by the Act. 

At Isleworth Crown Court it was decided that Mr. Singh had benefitted from his crime to the sum of £246,600.  The Court ordered that this amount be paid by Mr Singh within three months, or he would face a two-year prison sentence.  The fine and costs are to be paid within 6 months. 

Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council said: “I am delighted to report that crime certainly does not pay in Hounslow, with over £270,000 being paid back to the public purse following a number of successful convictions, two of which resulted in confiscation proceedings. To date we have brought successful prosecutions against seven criminal landlords.”

In another case Gurdeep Gosal of 19 Raleigh Road, Southall was found guilty of two offences contrary to the Town & Country Planning Act, after renting out two illegally constructed outbuildings at his mother’s property. Mr Gosal failed to comply with an enforcement notice which required him to cease use of the outbuildings as self-contained units, and remove the works that had been carried out to enable the use of the outbuildings as residential units.

Following his conviction, a confiscation investigation resulted in Mr Gosal having all his ill-gotten gains confiscated. Some of this money was used to demolish one of his outbuildings and the remaining £8,593 was required to be paid within two weeks or he would face a 3-month prison term.

In two other cases, Teji Amraj Lal was fined £2,133 for erecting an illegal 35 square metre rear extension without planning permission and failing to demolish it after being warned to do so 5 years ago. The property is at 87 Vicarage Farm Road, Hounslow.

And at 54 Kingsley Road, Hounslow, two sisters who jointly owned a property partly used previously for the family’s Solicitors firm, were fined just over £5,000 when a rear extension was found not to have been demolished. A poorly constructed building made of breeze blocks with a poly carbonate sheeting roof and likely used partly as a residential unit was found.

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