Kingsbury landlord ordered to demolish illegal ‘beds in sheds’ building in his garden

Virendra Patel must knock down this outhouse in the garden of his home in Valley Drive, Kingsbury,

Virendra Patel must knock down this outhouse in the garden of his home in Valley Drive, Kingsbury, - Credit: Archant

Brent Council have become one of the first in London to use new powers to force a landlord to demolish an illegal ‘beds in sheds’ outhouse in his garden.

The shed's built-in kitchen

The shed's built-in kitchen - Credit: Archant

Virendra Patel, of Valley Drive, Kingsbury, rented out the building to a family-of-six for four years before he was caught by council chiefs during a crackdown on illegal outhouses in Brent.

The shed's bathroom

The shed's bathroom - Credit: Archant

The 58-year-old had applied for a building certificate for the outhouse, saying it would be used for storage or a gym but once it was granted he moved his tenants in.

The shed had two bedrooms

The shed had two bedrooms - Credit: Archant

After he was caught he tried to argue that building was immune from enforcement action as it was older than four years, but the town hall used a new-style Planning Enforcement Order, which is part of the Localism Act 2012, to override the rule because the building had been deliberately concealed.

Patel challenged the application, telling the court that he hadn’t deliberately hidden his tenants, didn’t realise they had to pay council tax and it was a ‘coincidence’ that they moved in soon after the certificate was granted.

However, District Judge Cooper, sitting at Hendon Magistrates Court last week, ordered him to demolish the building and pay £11,703 in legal costs.

Cllr George Crane, Brent Council’s lead member for regeneration and major projects said: “This is a fantastic result for the council and unscrupulous landlords who flout planning laws should take note.

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“We are at the forefront of using new planning powers to tackle beds in sheds, which are often cramped, with poor facilities, cause problems for neighbours and lead to overcrowding putting a huge strain on local amenities.

“Brent Council wants good homes for local people and we are doing everything we can to raise standards. Beds in sheds simply aren’t good enough and we will stamp them out.”

In July 2012 the council were awarded a 163,745 grant from central government to tackle ‘beds in sheds’.

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