Islington Council warns rogue landlords after £85K court case: ‘We’ll go after you’
PUBLISHED: 11:40 23 October 2015 | UPDATED: 11:42 23 October 2015
An Islington landlord has an £85,000 bill after unlawfully letting an “substandard” basement flat.
As part of a planning crackdown in the Caledonian Road area, Islington Council asked Andrew Panayi, a landlord who owns over 40 properties in and around the road, to ensure all were being used lawfully.
When Panayi applied to confirm the use of one flat in particular - Basement Flat, 374, Caledonian Road - was lawful, it emerged it was subject to an enforcement notice. This notice had been complied with by the flat’s previous landlord, but was being flouted by Panayi.
The council launched legal action against him, based on “an unsatisfactory and substandard unit of residential accommodation” with “inadequate light and outlook and poor living environment”.
In June, Panayi, who lives on Caledonian Road himself, pleaded guilty to breach of a planning enforcement notice relating to the unauthorised use of the flat.
At a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday (October 16), Panayi was ordered to pay a fine of £2,000; a costs award of £15,900; and was issued a confiscation order of £70,000 for profits made from renting the flat.
The Gazette was unable to reach Panayi for comment this morning.
Cllr James Murray, executive member for housing, said: “More and more people in Islington are renting privately, and we are determined to help make sure they have decent homes to live in.
“Most landlords act lawfully – but when rogue landlords break the rules, we will go after them.”
Council officers inspected the property again earlier this year and established the basement is no longer being used for accommodation.
Tenants in Islington with concerns about their landlords, or landlords seeking guidance on how to meet legislation, can call 0207 527 3001.
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