Owners of basement flat that was being ‘illegally rented out’ are hit with £80,000 fine

Owners of ‘Hobbit-sized’ basement flat that was being ‘illegally rented out’ are hit with £80,000 fine or 16 months behind bars as council blasts ‘unpleasant and dark’ living space

  • Owners ignored a standing order from council to stop them renting it out
  • Officers described the basement window as allowing ‘very little light in’

Two people have been slapped with a £80,000 fine after illegally renting out a ‘dark’ ‘Hobbit-sized’ basement flat. 

The tiny flat, located in on Heeley Road in Selly Oak, Birmingham, was reported by Birmingham Live to have a separate bathroom, a small kitchen and a staircase that leads to a room with a bed.  

The pair who rented out the apartment ‘illegally’ were taken to court after they ignored a standing order from the city council to stop them from renting out the flat. 

Officers said an outlook to the street was ‘impossible’ and described the ‘small’ basement window as allowing ‘very little light in’. 

The tiny 'Hobbit-sized' flat, is located in on Heeley Road in Selly Oak, Birmingham

The tiny ‘Hobbit-sized’ flat, is located in on Heeley Road in Selly Oak, Birmingham

Officers said an outlook to the street was 'impossible', describing the basement window as allowing 'very little light in'

Officers said an outlook to the street was ‘impossible’, describing the basement window as allowing ‘very little light in’

The defendants were ordered by Birmingham Crown Court on December 15 to pay £4,000 each within two months or be given three months imprisonment.

They also have three months to pay a confiscation order of £67,000 or be thrown in jail for 16 months. 

Therefore in total, the duo will have to pay a whopping £83,000 in both fines and costs.

Cllr Martin Brooks, Chair of Birmingham Planning Committee, said the property was ‘insufficient in size’ and said it was a ‘very unpleasant living environment’.

In total, the defendants will have to pay a whopping £83,000 in both fines and costs

In total, the defendants will have to pay a whopping £83,000 in both fines and costs

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