According to the BBC, a UK couple in Enderby, Leicestershire was found to be in violation of several local regulations. Because they hung a fake garage door to conceal an illegal residence, they are now facing fines and possible additional charges. How did this couple end up in this position?
In 2007, Reeta Herzallah and Hamdi Almasri took out building permits to make some changes on their property. The permits were issued on the condition that they not alter any available parking associated with the property. During their changes, they created an additional exit onto the main street, eliminating potential parking there. They also converted a garage into a living space, which was beyond the scope of their permits.
The couple insists that the builder they contracted with said that their changes were perfectly legal and they were not trying to hide anything. This is hard to believe given what they did after converting the garage into living space. The couple hung a fake garage door to conceal the fact that the conversion had been made.
In addition, they built a privacy fence along both sides of the driveway leading up to the converted garage. It was equal to the height of the facade of the building, making the front very difficult to see from the street. With these obvious cover-ups in place, the ruse lasted for 8 years, virtually unnoticed.
For several years, Herzallah and Almasri were able to keep up the deception and avoid any charges. Ostensibly, they would pull out the fake door, which appears to mimic a carriage-style door, and make sure it was in place when any inspectors were coming. It’s not clear who was actually living in the dwelling during these years.
In 2015, inspectors for the Blaby District Council investigated the odd situation and discovered the concealed home. Charges were brought against the couple in October of that year. The couple did not show up to court and therefore did not enter a plea. As a result, they were both found guilty and ordered to pay a £770 fine for breaching the orders, legal costs of £1,252, and a £77 victim surcharge.
Herzallah and Almasri still maintain their innocence and deny any intended deception or wrongdoing. However, the Blaby District Council feels vindicated in their successful prosecution of this case. Sheila Scott, a Council member involved in the case, took the time to remind citizens that any violation of building codes and regulations will eventually catch up with you. Sometimes it can take years, but the fines will come anyway.
Need a Real Garage Door?
If you’re interested in hanging a fake garage door to get away with something, we won’t be able to help you there. However, if you’re in need of a real new garage door, give us a call! We’d be glad to help you with the whole process. Give us a call, 24/7, and we’ll get a technician out to your door in no time!