Search

Islington Council threatens legal action over ‘tiny flat’

13:42 12 June 2014

Cllr Paul Convery

Cllr Paul Convery

Archant

A property tycoon who tried to rent out a tiny “shoebox” apartment for almost £750 per month is at loggerheads with Islington Council after it forcibly removed the home from the market.

The flat, advertised at more than £700pcm, was taken down after the agent received abusive calls (Picture: Rightmove)The flat, advertised at more than £700pcm, was taken down after the agent received abusive calls (Picture: Rightmove)

The council has launched an investigation after landlord Andrew Panayi, 67, who owns more than 40 properties in and around Caledonian Road, advertised the tiny flat with just inches between the bed and kitchen cupboards in Kember Street, Islington, on website Rightmove.

Labour councillor for Caledonian ward, Paul Convery, said the case was likely to be taken to court after Islington Council issued an order to prevent the flat from being rented out, claiming it did not meet its minimum standards for housing size and did not have appropriate planning permission.

Cllr Convery insisted that the flat was “just too small” and had been granted planning permission up to four years ago for the purpose of student accommodation, with single bedrooms and larger communal kitchens along a corridor.

He said: “Andrew knows people are desperate. He thinks he’s found a loophole, and managed to hide the conversions for four years. We think he’s wrong and we’ll probably see him in court on this one.

“The building was designed as a student housing development, and he has surreptitiously turned them into self-contained studio flats.”

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council’s executive member for housing, said: “This place is a shoebox, not a flat, so we’re serving a prohibition order to stop it being rented out again. We are also urgently inspecting the other flats in this block to see if they are flouting the rules too.

“It shows how grim London’s housing crisis has become when tenants can be exploited like this – and yet down the road new properties are being snapped up by investors and often sitting empty.”

Mr Panayi has previously faced controversy when he appeared on a BBC documentary in 2012 and told cameras he would “keep milking” the market.

The 67-year-old also told the cameras that he “builds first and asks permission later”, prompting a 100-strong petition calling for the town hall to hold a public meeting to discuss his business.

It also spurred on a group of residents to set up a group called Cally Cows – in reference to Mr Panayi’s desire to “milk” his properties – to campaign against him but their Twitter account has been inactive since last year.

Mr Panayi refused to comment on the matter when approached by the Gazette.

Latest Islington News Stories

44 minutes ago
Henry Hicks died following a police chase in Islington (Picture: Arnaud Stephenson)

The family of Henry Hicks last night demanded answers from Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe after it emerged during a heated public meeting that the officers involved in his death will not face charges.

Yesterday, 17:10
Timid: Rabbit experts warn the animals are easily stressed (Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA)

Animal lovers do not see the bunny side of plans for a pop-up “rabbit cafe” in Islington.

Yesterday, 15:38
Rev Simon Harvey found this intruder in his house on Wednesday afternoon

Grieving vicar Simon Harvey today told how he photographed a suspected burglar in his Upper Street home, moments before discovering his dead wife’s jewellery had been stolen.

Yesterday, 11:42
Murat Mehmet runs Electrical Embassy Supplies with his father, who imports olive oil from Cyprus to his shop on Compton Street

For Murat Mehmet and his business partner father, selling olive oil from an electrical shop is as natural as the family’s organic production farm in Cyprus. Georgie Conway reports.

Yesterday, 09:04
Richard at the former care home building in Grosvenor Avenue, Highbury, where he was abused as a child. Picture: Ken Mears

Like dozens of other children in 20th-Century Islington care homes, Richard was a victim of abuse. A new website is supporting these survivors. This week, he bravely returned to the building of his former care home in Grosvenor Avenue, Highbury. He told James Morris there could be hundreds more victims who have yet to come to terms with childhood trauma.

Wed, 17:08
A police car outside City and Islington College on Monday. Picture: Ken Mears

Three men have been bailed until late July after two 18-year-olds were stabbed in Owen’s Field on Monday afternoon.

Wed, 16:58
Crowds at the Whitecross Street Party two years ago. The population of Islington is set to rocket by 17 per cent in the next decade (Picture: Dieter Parry)

Islington’s population is set to soar by 37,000 over the next decade, according to government stats released today.

Wed, 16:00
Rocketspace's San Francisco offices

With more and more tech start-ups emerging from Old Street every day, the market for an all-in-one hub has never been more evident.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe