A rogue landlord couple have been fined for illegally letting out a ‘shed with a bed’ for more than three years.
A planning enforcement notice prohibited the outbuilding of a house in Reddington Drive, Langley, from being used as a residence.
However, when Paul Vig applied for an HMO licence it was discovered – although some of the white goods had been removed – that it contained everything needed to be an independent self-contained unit, including a shower room, washing machine, microwave and cupboards with food.
Paul and Maria Vig appeared at Reading Crown Court for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing after admitting failing to comply with the notice.
The court ruled that Paul Vig knew the continued commercial use of the outbuilding was in breach of the enforcement notice after hearing that he had benefitted from letting out the property at £160 per week between September 2016 and July 2019.
Paul Vig, 58, of Scotlands Drive, Farnham Common, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £8,161 costs while Maria Vig, 40, of Fawsley Close, Colnbrook, was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay the remaining council costs of £4,000.
The judge said: “The offending is aggravated by the length of time over which it was committed, the fact that it was committed for financial gain, the poverty of amenity provided by the property to the tenant of the outbuilding and the adverse effect on the tenant of the main property.”
Councillor Beni Bains (pictured), cabinet member for regulation and public protection, says: “Beds in sheds will not be tolerated in the borough.
“They are not suitable accommodation for the resident and they are just designed to make money out of the most vulnerable. Planning enforcement will continue to seek out landlords who act in this unlawful way.”