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A massive hunt is underway for a rogue Westcliff landlord after a raid in Salisbury Avenue uncovered seven families living in a converted ONE BED flat – cops also found a phone case shop on the premises. Initial investigations have shown that each family has been paying £650 per month, and the landlord has avoided the need to register the property as a HMO as he just didn’t bother telling anyone about it.

A £1000 cash reward has been offered for any information that leads to finding 41-year-old Mariusz Packeminowicz – he is believed to have a number of properties in the South Essex area. When cops arrived at the flat earlier today, they were ‘horrified’ to find that four of the seven converted living spaces were just cupboards in the kitchen, and some of the carpets had clearly not been mown for months.

Michael Hovell is the Southend Borough Inspector for Illegal Dwellings, and he said: ‘This landlord has rented the flat in question under false pretences, and then spent the minimum amount of money required to convert the property illegally into seven separate dwellings – four of the families don’t even have enough room to stand up. Once we get information about where Mr Packeminowicz is living, we will be sending him a very strong letter informing him that he needs to make some changes. This will be followed by another letter sent by recorded delivery, and then a visit from our enforcement team to deliver the same letter by hand.’

Mr Hovell added: ‘We have also passed details of the phone case shop on to the Business Planning Enforcement Team. To open any sort of mobile phone accessory shop in Southend, there is a lengthy planning application process that needs to followed. As the town currently has a shortage of retail outlets of this type, it would have probably been approved if he had followed the correct process of paying a £2.50 planning application fee and writing his name on a slip of paper.’