A landlord has failed to overturn a £105,000 confiscation order after illegally converting a family home into flats.
Zein Mortada, 52, of Wembley, North London, agreed to pay the money after he was fined £10,000 at Harrow Crown Court in September 2012 after pleading guilty to two charges of ignoring local council enforcement orders.
The orders demanded he should turn the converted property back into a family home.
After agreeing a consent order to hand over the £105,000, Mortada applied to the High Court to quash the order.
However, a trio of judges said he had no grounds to try to quash the order and was merely attempting to get out of paying the money.
Judge Melbourne Inman QC, said: “This was a tactical decision on Mortada’s part to enter into a consent order – there are no arguable grounds for now seeking to go behind that consent order.”
The application was dismissed.
Mortada’s legal team told the High Court he only agreed to the consent order as he felt the bill was covered by insurance, and when he found it was not made the application.
The house was converted into six flats. The court heard one was reportedly sold in 2007 for £245,000.
Landlord benefits cheat
Meanwhile, in a separate case, landlord Kuldip Sharma, of Letchworth, Hertfordshire was given an 11-month suspended jail sentence by Cambridge Crown Court after admitting four charges of fraudulently claiming £26,000 in benefits.
The court heard Sharma was receiving rents from buy to let properties which he failed to declare while claiming benefits.
North Hertfordshire Council intends to launch confiscation proceedings against Sharma to reclaim any buy to let profits he made while claiming the benefits.
Councillor Terry Hone, portfolio holder for finance, said: “Benefit fraudsters will not be tolerated – and in this case Mr Sharma only avoided a custodial sentence due to his poor health.”