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Action over 19 tiny flats found in single Holloway building

PUBLISHED: 13:28 05 September 2014 | UPDATED: 15:20 05 September 2014

Cllr James Murray outside the property in Holloway Road where Islington Council  has made prohibition orders on 19 undersized flats

Cllr James Murray outside the property in Holloway Road where Islington Council has made prohibition orders on 19 undersized flats

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A building in Holloway has been hit with an order to stop 19 tiny bedsits inside it from being rented out.

A building in Holloway has been hit with an order to stop 19 tiny bedsits inside it from being rented out.

The former hostel in Holloway Road had been converted into flats without planning permission and all fall well below Islington Council’s minimum size standards.

Town hall officers made the prohibition orders in August after the substandard dwellings were discovered during an investigation into private sector homes in the area – sparked by the notorious ‘shoebox’ apartment in Kember Street, Islington.

Cllr James Murray, executive member for housing and development in Islington, said: “There is a housing crisis in London and so a lot of people are desperate to find anywhere to live.

“Everyone deserves a decent place to live and desperate people should not be crammed into tiny flats.”

It is thought by the council that some of the tenants of these bedsits were apparently housed through a homeless charity.

The prohibition orders apply immediately, meaning the flats cannot be rented out again in their current state.

Cllr Murray added: “These shoebox flats are not fit for tenants as they are well below our minimum size standards.

“We have to draw a line and stop people being exploited, so we’ve stopped these flats being rented out again.”

Further investigations are being carried out in the building, including a probe into apparent breaches of fire safety regulations and the issuing of planning contravention notices, meaning that the owner of the miniscule flats, and any other interested parties, must supply more information about the property before further enforcement action is considered.

The investigation was launched 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.


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