Plaistow tenants pay price for landlord’s illegal flat conversion

A retired Plaistow man is among four tenants facing eviction after their landlord was found to have illegally built their flats.

Ray Hanna, 67, of Barking Road, has been notified he will have to leave his home by November because his landlord failed to request planning permission for the conversion of his property.

The pensioner, who has lived in his flat for three-and-a-half years, said: “The laws don’t help people like us. I thought I was secure for the rest of my life.

“Why should these people get away with it? Landlords seem to think they can pull the wool over people’s eyes. I am being made to suffer because of someone’s greed.

“Landlords just don’t realise that we are human beings.”

The bombshell for the four tenants came after they were told their landlord had lost his appeal against Newham Council’s ruling that he illegally converted the first and second floors of his building into self-contained flats.

The Planning Inspectorate ruled in May that the unnamed landlord must remove the flats from the building within six months.

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Cllr Unmesh Desai, executive member for crime and antisocial behaviour, said: “We will not tolerate antisocial behaviour and crime in Newham. If people flout the law – be it rogue landlords, pirate DVDs, littering, noise nuisance, breaching planning laws or committing any criminal offence – we will take action.

“Crime and antisocial behaviour are unacceptable and we will never apologise for being tough on the yobs and vandals who make the lives of the hard working majority a misery. When it comes to tackling crime Newham is taking the lead across the capital and the country.

“The council served more than three per cent of the country’s planning enforcement notices for the 2010/11 financial year.

“This equates to more than nine per cent of London boroughs’ planning enforcement notices for the same period.”