A rogue landlord who used a fake name to evade the law has been handed a whopping £485,000 in fines after he was found illegally renting out a large shed as five flats.
Yehuda Levhar, of Sudbury Court Road, Sudbury, had also previously admitted renting out a house at the same premises as two flats without planning permission, at Hendon Magistrates Court in 2021.
Brent Council was tipped off by neighbours who reported the property in Harrow Road, Sudbury, in 2013. Officers served a planning enforcement notice to stop the premises being rented out as flats, but the landlord failed to comply with the notice.
Tenants said their landlord was called Barry Jacobs, but officers were only able to locate ‘Barry’ in 2016 and couldn’t prove who he was. The premises was later registered with the land registry by Yehuda Levhar, who was finally tracked down by the council in 2020.
Due to the complexities of the case, prosecution took three years of court hearings. Levhar was ordered to pay £60,000 in costs to the council, a £1,000 fine and a£424,000 confiscation order.
Force of the law
Councillor Harbi Farah, cabinet member for safer communities and public protection, says: “Yehuda Levhar has felt the force of the law for choosing to rip off tenants, house them in appalling conditions and ignore planning regulations. This sort of exploitation is illegal and we will root out every last landlord in Brent who acts like this.
He adds: “We will utilise in full force our recently granted borough-wide licensing, which will enable us to improve the standard of living for renters in Brent and give landlords clear guidance on what responsibilities are expected of them to safeguard renters’ security.”