Illegal penthouses finally destroyed after landlord ignored judge

Illegal penthouse apartments at centre of planning row are torn down after landlord with £30million property empire IGNORED judge’s request to have them demolished and instead rented them out for £1,000 a month

  • Munjit Dulay ignored a court order in May 2019 to destroy two penthouses
  • The owner of MB Estates built the flats in St Clements Court without permission
  • They continued to bring in £450 and £600 each month for the landlord
  • Dulay was threatened with four months in jail and the flats were destroyed 

A millionaire landlord who ignored a court order to destroy his two illegal £1,000-a-month penthouses has finally torn them down after being threatened with jail. 

Munjit Dulay’s company MB Estates bought St Clements Court, a former care home turned into 74 flats, in Leicester in 2012.

He built two penthouses on top of them in a ‘flagrant breach’ of planning permission, bringing in thousands of pounds of rent and ignoring a court order demanding their removal.

Dulay, 55, was finally forced to tear the buildings down by Sunday, July 17 after a judge threatened to activate his four-month jail sentence – suspended for six months after a trial at Leicester County Court in January – if the buildings stayed. 

The court heard that the owner of MB Estates has a £33million property empire with more than £1.7million cash in the bank.

In 2020 Dulay was given a 12-month jail sentence and ordered to pay more than £146,000 in fines and costs over fire safety failings so bad they risked lives in the same block of flats. 

Millionaire landlord Munjit Dulay (pictured), 55, owns MB Estates and has a £30million property empire

Dulay was forced to tear down the two £1000-a-month illegal apartments in St Clements Court, Leicester (pictured and circled) after being threatened with four months in jail

Leicester City Council found out about the illegal apartments on Fosse Lane, New Parks and initially demanded their removal by March 6, 2018, gaining a court order from a district judge to do so May 2019. 

But despite promising to demolish the two penthouses, the landlord continued to let them out, raking in another £450 a month for one and £600 for the other.  

Jonathan Manning, barrister for the city council, told the court earlier this year: ‘This has now been going on a very long time. 


The two small flats (pictured left, before demolition; and right, after) were built without planning permission

The flats were finally destroyed (pictured) after Munjit Dulay was threatened with a four-month jail sentence, suspended for six months) by Leicester County Court in January

‘It’s not really suggested anything was done to comply with the injunction and it was only in August he accepted that he was going to have to demolish those properties at all.

‘The company has been renting the penthouses and stringing along the authority and the court while taking no steps to demolish the penthouses. 

‘Mr Dulay and his company have never taken seriously the requirement to demolish the properties or comply with the order.’

Leicester City Council found out about the illegal apartments on Fosse Lane, New Parks and initially demanded their removal by March 6, 2018, gaining a court order from a district judge to do so May 2019

But the landlord refused to destroy the flats, continuing to rake in over £1,000 each month

Dulay told the court he hadn’t destroyed the apartments as his solicitors told him they could get the planning permission passed.  

After Dulay was threatened with four months in jail by Judge Richard Hedley, the council confirmed the flats would be demolished and they were torn down.

MB Estates were also fined £25,000 and Dulay paid Leicester City Council’s legal costs of £4,129.

Piara Singh Clair, deputy city mayor councillor, said: ‘Thanks to the persistence of council officers this matter has finally been resolved and the owner has removed what was a very poor development, built without planning permission in a flagrant breach of planning control.’

This is not the first time the property owner has come into trouble with the law about the flats at St Clements Court.

In 2020 Dulay was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, and was ordered to pay more than £146,000 in fines and costs by Leicester Crown Court over fire safety failings in the flats.

These included a non-functioning fire alarm system, useless smoke detectors, and unsuitable fire escapes – that put dozens of tenants’ lives at risk. 

The landlord hired an online company to carry out a fire assessment for £400 in 2017 – but failed to inform them of the scale of the issues. 

Dulay pleaded guilty to six counts of risking tenants’ death or injuries.  

The deputy city mayor councillor said the development was ‘a flagrant breach of planning control’

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