A UK landlord who constructed a ‘beds in sheds’ illegal hotel on his property now faces a huge fine or jail time.
Michael Aslam, from Tilehurst, was ordered by his local council to stop using the building on his property as a hotel, but he was not eager to follow the demands, as reported by Get Reading.
When he failed to comply, and continued to rake in the illegal rent, council officers acted.
Mr Aslam appeared at the Magistrates Court and admitted to two charges of breaching planning enforcement orders.
However, the magistrates referred the matter onward to Isleworth Crown Court for sentencing, trying to claw back some of Mr Aslam’s unlawful gains.
The court fined him £7,500 (approximately $14,000) for each offence and a bonus £170,000 (approximately $310,000) for his ill-gotten business venture.
If Mr Aslam disobeys again and does not repay the amount within six months, he faces a minimum year in prison under the terms of the Proceeds of Crime Act.
He must also pay the council’s costs of £17,676 (approximately $32,000), within the same timeframe.
The council, the Treasury, the Courts and Tribunals Service are in cahoots and have decided to split Mr Aslam’s cash between them.
Councillor Keith Burrows, cabinet member for planning, said, “This is a great courtroom victory”.