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

08:42
Dame founders Celia Pool and Alec Mills.

Every week, we take to the streets to find a start-up business right here in Islington. This week, we spotted Dame, a company with a no-nonsense approach to periods.

Yesterday, 17:41
Campaigners are calling for a community-led redevelopment of the Holloway Prison site. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA

A leading campaigner for the “community” development of Holloway Prison has called on the government to commit to affordable housing on the site – after a new report made no mention of it.

Yesterday, 12:54
Arsenal and Sutton community teams met at Gander Green Lane ahead of tonight's FA Cup game. Picture: Stuart MacFarlane

It’s the archetypal FA Cup tie. Non-league Sutton United, with its 5,000 capacity ground, tonight host the world famous millionaires of Arsenal. But the clubs have actually been part of an unlikely union for the past couple of years.

Yesterday, 11:58
Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn (inset) has objected to the development and basement excavation of a derelict garage in Japan Crescent, Crouch Hill - but council officers want to defy him. Picture: Google Street View/PA

Islington Council officers have asked a town hall planning committee to defy its own leader – as well as Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn.

Yesterday, 10:34
Queues could often be seen coming out of the door of Dotori. (Picture: Google Maps).

Foodies rejoice! Much-loved Finsbury Park restaurant Dotori will reopen next week after a six-month closure.

Yesterday, 09:57
Islington Gazette: February 20, 1987

A Pentonville Prison officer feared the Caledonian Road jail was “on the brink”.

Sunday, February 19, 2017
Acoustic Sunday is run by a group of volunteers looking to get into the media industry. Picture: SoundAdviceUK

An acoustic jam session that helps youngsters get their media training is returning for a new run.

Saturday, February 18, 2017
The team outside the new Air Ambulance store in Junction Road.

The Gazette hunts high and low each week to bring you news of the most interesting and unusual new businesses in Hackney/Islington. This week, we found out Archway has a new boutique.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now