Rogue landlord back in court

A millionaire rogue landlord has been ordered to pay more than £12,000 by a court after storing a huge shipping container on his land without permission.

The fine and costs for Latif ur Rehman comes just two months after he was hit with a court bill for nearly £350,000 after converting four homes in the borough into 17 cramped flats and bedsits without planning permission.

For the latest offence Rehman, from Harborne, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a single enforcement notice issued by Dudley Council. The 58-year-old appeared at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on December 7. He was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay the council’s legal costs of £620.48.

The court heard Dudley Council received a formal complaint in September last year about the bright orange shipping container. It was being used for storage for a shop on land owned by Rehman in Wolverhampton Street in the town centre.

Two planning applications submitted retrospectively - seeking permission to retain the shipping container on site - were refused by the council, the court heard.

Rehman ignored enforcement notices issued by Dudley Council to remove the container from his land by September this year and was issued with a court summons. Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for planning and regeneration, said:

“We welcome the sentence of the court, following another long and protracted battle to get Mr Rehman to comply with planning laws. We hope this sentence, the second against the same person in the space of three months, will send out a strong message to landlords in the Dudley borough and beyond.

“Failing to comply with planning laws most certainly does not pay, and, as in the case of Mr Rehman, will most likely end up with a court date and a hefty bill.”

Rehman also appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court in September for sentence after admitting four other breaches of enforcement notices issued by Dudley Council.

The landlord was said to have profited illegally to the tune of nearly £280,000 by pocketing cash paid out by the local authority through housing benefit for his tenants. The court heard the crooked landlord had amassed assets of more than £1 million and was taking in around £150,000 a year just in rent from his property portfolio.

Rehman was served with enforcement notices which he ignored in relation to sub-dividing four properties without permission – two in Cole Street, Netherton, one in Northfield Road, Netherton, and one in Wolverhampton Street.

Police shut down the Wolverhampton Street property in October following complaints of anti-social behaviour and crime from its tenants at the address.

At Wolverhampton Crown Court for the four breaches, Rehman was fined £40,000. He was also ordered to pay Dudley Council’s costs of £25,898.34 in bringing the case, and given three months to repay nearly £280,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act or face up the three years in jail.


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