Search

PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: The “nightmare” Finsbury Park house that landlord didn’t inspect before buying

PUBLISHED: 15:38 26 June 2013 | UPDATED: 14:48 27 June 2013

The pile of rubbish which sparked angry complaints of creating an

The pile of rubbish which sparked angry complaints of creating an "eyesore" after the clean-up began

Archant

Most homeowners are guilty of holding on to keepsakes for longer than they should.

The scene which greeted landlords the Koch brothers as they opened the front doorThe scene which greeted landlords the Koch brothers as they opened the front door

But these shocking pictures – the result of 40 years’ worth of hoarding – reveal the “nightmare” scenes which confronted one Finsbury Park landlord this week after buying the Fonthill Road house at auction without inspecting it first.

Books, children’s toys, clothes, newspapers and discarded furniture were piled up shoulder-deep in many of the four-storey town house’s 10 rooms, with only enough space to crawl up the stairs.

New owner Mehmet Koch, who bought the house with his brother, Abbas, for £450,000 at a blind auction, spoke of his “shock” at knowing people lived there until just a few months ago.

The 33-year-old said: “We just saw it and thought, ‘How the hell are we going to clean this up?’ We were just shocked.

Another upstairs bedroomAnother upstairs bedroom

“When we saw it, we just felt sorry for the people who lived here at first. I mean, how could anyone live like this in the 21st century?

“There was no running water, no electricity and no gas. I thought I was having a nightmare, I have never seen anything like this before.”

The house had been lived in since the 60s by an elderly couple, now in their 70s.

Hal Davis, owner of clothes shop Guate Goat opposite, said: “To get out, she would have to move about 15 bags and stick them on the doorstep, step outside and then the husband came out, then the dog came out and she would put all the bags back in. Then when they came back it was the same process.

New landlord Mehmet Koch spoke of his "shock" as the clean-up got underwayNew landlord Mehmet Koch spoke of his "shock" as the clean-up got underway

“I have been watching that almost every day for seven years but just had no idea what the inside of the house looked like. It’s a massive revelation.

“This was the first I saw of how bad it was as she never used to open the windows.”

‘Shameless’

Angry scenes were sparked as workers began the clean-up operation after throwing everything into the front garden without arranging for a truck to collect it. As a result Islington Council “served notice” on the landlords and the mess has since been removed.

Police were also heard ordering passers-by to act with “more respect” after several began bagging items from the pile. One neighbour said: “It’s shameless. It’s like stealing from a dead body. She was a lovely old woman and those are still her things.”

Firefighters first raised the alarm with social services over the extent of the pensioners’ hoarding about a year ago after needing to go through the property to tackle a blaze. The woman is understood to be living in sheltered accommodation with her husband who had become ill.

The Koch brothers, who own about 10 premises under Kaya Properties, are planning to turn the house into flats if they gain planning permission.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Islington Gazette