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 News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00
Boddington

A leading tech boss has called for more action to get girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects at school and for Tech City to become more multicultural.

Yesterday, 16:50
Gabriel Thomson, 28, who formerly appeared in BBC sitcom 'My Family' has been accepted to King's College London with a view to become a human right's barrister

Gabriel Thomson received a distinction whilst studying at City and Islington College

Friday, July 24, 2015
Members of the Islington Debt Coalition campaigned outside Finsbury Park Station last Thursday to raise awareness of the dangers of loan sharks

Council insists payday lending shops are not welcome in Islington

Thursday, July 23, 2015
Parking space for disabled person/

Recent statistics showed unemployment rates fall but disabled still face barriers to work

Most read news

Competitions

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder