The largest fine issued so far this year to a rogue landlord has been announced by the London Borough of Brent.

It has given landlord Ms Orofena St John, the owner of a property near Wembley Stadium in North London, a penalty of £144,000 after she built several extensions at her 39 Clarendon Gardens property and converted them into seven flats and two bedsits all without planning permission.

Brent council issued enforcement notices four years ago requiring the extensions to be demolished and the premises be converted back to one house.

But St John ignored these orders and in 2019 was taken to court where she was convicted of the breaches. She is now the subject of a Proceeds of Crime Act following a hearing at Harrow Crown Court, which heard that she had previous history in illegally converting properties without planning permission at another nearby property.

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Rogue landlord

She has now been ordered to pay £111,582 for the income received from illegally renting the properties to tenants for a profit.
In addition to this, St. John was fined £18,000 in council legal costs and £15,000 for the breach of the notices.

shama tatler

“This penalty sends a clear message that people will not be allowed to get away with ignoring planning laws and renting out properties illegally,” says Brent councillor Shama Tatler, its Lead Member for Regeneration, Property & Planning.

“These laws are in place to protect our residents from being exploited in inferior accommodation and to ensure that Brent’s environment is a great place for everyone to live.”

Read more about Brent.


  1. And yet if you were to listen to the Councils, the Media and tenant associations, all Landlords are evil, money grabbing B**tads, and society is in a real and desperate need for new laws required to bring them to justice.

    Seems like justice has been pretty thorough here, so the laws already exist and are pretty robust?

    Therefore, its fair to say that the Councils, the Media and tenant associations are all chatting a load of waffle, and inciting unnecessary hatred to a particular work group of individuals?

    Discrimination anyone?

    • PRS landlords are the ONLY business in UK that cannot claim a wholly, necessarily and exclusively incurred current expense (as opposed to capital expenses) against the income related to that expense at the marginal rate of taxation.

      How can this be described as anything other than DISCRIMINATION. Blatant, ruthless, state-backed DISCRIMINATION!

    • This situation you describe only applies to mortgaged sole trader LL………….at the moment!!

      BLATANT DISCRIMINATION as you correctly state.

      This situation only affects 25% of the PRS.

      Still a significant number of LL affected.
      I’m one of them and my response is to sell up as indeed are many other LL.
      There are ways to mitigate the effects of S24 but for many LL it isn’t possible.
      I’m one of them.

      The Tories are hell-bent on eradicating mortgaged sole trader LL.

      Nobody cares about the unfairness of the situation.
      The general public WON’T be the slightest bit interested if all mortgaged sole trader LL are forced out of business.

      That is the unfortunate reality for those LL affected by S24.

      S24 LL need to try all the relevant strategies that exist to mitigate S24 issues.

      Unfortunately such strategies may not be available to many of these LL.
      Inevitably those LL will need to consider their position with a view to exit the PRS.

      Unfortunately Govt has got mortgaged sole trader LL just where it wants them and it knows it’s eradication strategy is working albeit quite slowly.

      This is why the UK Govt will NEVER assist English LL with defaulted rent.

      Indeed it regards the additional financial distress caused to mortgaged sole trader LL by the CV19 pandemic as excellent further leverage to force such LL out of business.

      To remain in business as a mortgaged sole trader LL you need to be extremely financially resilient.

      Sadly few S24 LL have sufficient financial resilience and as such they have to give up.
      I’m in that cohort unfortunately.

      Sadly many occupants will be made homeless as vacant possession is usually the best way to achieve maximum retail property sale price.

      In the coming months many more tenants will be evicted as LL sell up or move away from the AST business model.

      Times are going to be extremely tough for tenants.

      Most LL can afford not to be LL but tenants can’t afford their LL not to be LL.


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