A couple tried to disguise a small secret home as a garage, in order to dupe council planners. Instead, they got fined.
Doctor Reeta Herzallah, 37, and partner Hamdi Almasri, 39, attempted to avoid planning laws by hiding their detached property behind a fake garage door, according to the Guardian.
The couple also used a fence to hide the house—which used to be an old garage—at their property located in Enderby, a town in England.
They were caught in October 2015 and were recently ordered at the Leicester magistrates court to pay over $2,700 (£2,000).
That amount includes a $1,060 (£770) fine, legal costs of $1,730 (£1,252) and a $100 (£77) victim surcharge, the Guardian reported.
— Josh Payne (@JoshPaynePA) February 12, 2018
After the couple failed to attend court dates or enter pleas, they were convicted of multiple planning breaches in their absence, the Telegraph reported.
They will also have to change their garage to its former build.
Last year in May and June they managed to follow through on some “remedial work,” including removing some of the extra fencings.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) February 12, 2018
But follow up inspections later in the year in July, August, and November showed that the garage had been untouched, the Telegraph reported. Which led the council to seek the recent prosecution.
Councillor Sheila Scott, the council’s cabinet member for planning, said the message over the case was clear.
“If you breach planning regulations and ignore us, we will not just go away,” Scott said, according to the Telegraph.