A council has taken possession of 25 properties owned by a family of “unscrupulous and lazy” landlords who flaunted their wealth on expensive cars and personalised number plates.

Tariq and Nasim Hussain of Millers Lane, Chigwell, were deemed by Waltham Forest Council to be unfit to manage the homes after they colluded with an engineer to falsify gas certificates.

In what is believed to be the largest possession of properties yet by a single council in one day, officials this morning (Thursday, December 6) took over the homes using an interim management order (IMO).

Waltham Forest Council leader Clare Coghill said the family had no shame in driving around cars worth hundreds of thousands of pounds yet refused to pay £30 for a gas certificate.

Cllr Coghill said: “A gas safety check costs as little as £30.

“The Hussains were not willing to spend this small amount to keep their tenants safe – yet they were prepared to spend £80,000 on a personalised vanity plate.

“Because of their penny-pinching, their tenants’ lives were endangered while they boasted about driving Bentleys and Lamborghinis.

“These landlords showed a shocking lack of care and concern.

“We will always press for the maximum possible penalties when people’s lives are needlessly endangered by unscrupulous, lazy landlords.“

In May 2017 Mrs Hussain was convicted of four offences under the Housing Act (2004) after she supplied false information to the council’s property licensing scheme about the gas supply to four rental properties.

She was found guilty and fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1839.

Her husband, Tariq Hussain, was separately convicted in July 2018 of four offences under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act for falsifying gas safety certificates for the same properties after colluding with engineer Muhammad Waseem.

Mr Hussain was given a fine of £800 plus costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Under the Housing At (2004) councils can take possession of properties with the aim of protecting tenants and neighbours.

A suitable managing agent will be appointed to oversee the homes while repairs and improvements are carried out.

The rent collected by the council will be used to bring the property up to the expected standard and to fund its management duties.