Walthamstow landlord counts a heavy cost of ignoring planning regulations

A rogue landlord who illegally turned a Walthamstow property into 13 flats has been hit by nearly £200,000 in fines, costs and a confiscation order.

Inanc Elitok pleaded guilty to ignoring two previous notices at a hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, in a case brought by Waltham Forest Council’s Planning Enforcement team.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for the environment, said: “Even after being given two enforcement notices for failing to comply with planning regulations, this landlord thought the law didn’t apply to him.

“He was given plenty of time to act and he didn’t, instead he kept raking in the money and thought that we had forgotten about him.

“Now he’s had all the money taken from him and has a criminal record to boot. Rogue landlords must take note they will not be allowed to get away with this in Waltham Forest.”

The court was told that Elitok had first been ordered to knock down a third-floor rear extension to the properties at 619 – 623 Lea Bridge Road, Walthamstow, back in July 2013.

The following year he was told to stop renting the houses out at flats after an inspection revealed that the family homes had been split into individual apartments.

But more than five years later it was discovered that Elitok, who rented the flats through his company Elitok Properties Limited, had ignored both the enforcement notices.

At the sentencing hearing on February 26, His Honour Judge Murray Shanks, fined Elitok £20,000, £10,000 for each offence.

He also confirmed a proceeds of crime confiscation order in the sum of £140,000 based on the estimated five years rent that he had made.

He was ordered to pay Waltham Forest Council’s costs of £17,661 and a victim surcharge of £181 within three months.

Elitok was warned that confiscation order must be paid in three months or face an 18-month prison sentence. The fine and costs must also be paid within three months with a 12 months prison sentence if he did not pay in time.

In the meantime, the court learned that Elitok has brought in new planning consultants to assist with a further planning application to remedy the breach of planning control.

Residents who want to make changes to their property should always check to see if planning permission is required first. You can check by going to https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/content/do-i-need-planning-permission

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]