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£70,000 rent repayment order for London landlord

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A north London landlord has been ordered by a court to repay £70,000 in rent under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
£70,000 rent repayment order for London landlord

Andrew Panayi rented out a basement flat in Caledonian Road in Islington for £975 a month. However, the property was subject to an enforcement notice issued by the council.

The enforcement notice said the flat was “an unsatisfactory and substandard unit of residential accommodation” with “inadequate light and outlook and poor living environment”.

Panayi claimed in court he didn’t know council inspectors had ruled that the basement should not be used as a self-contained accommodation unit.

The landlord had previously hit the headlines for letting out a number of sub-standard studio flats in Caledonian Road.

He pleaded guilty to renting out the unlicensed basement in June 2015 after action by Islington Council.

The Proceeds of Crime Act hearing was held on 16 October at Blackfriars Crown Court. The council sought a confiscation order of £103,000 reflecting 14 years’ rent. The figure was negotiated down to £70,000. Panayi was also fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £16,000 costs.

Accounts for Panayi’s company Ploughcane show net assets of £17m and turnover in 2013 of £2.7m, of which £2.3m was operating profit.

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council’s 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.

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