Landlord Ordered to Repay £70,000 in Rent
By |Published On: 26th October 2015|

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Landlord Ordered to Repay £70,000 in Rent

By |Published On: 26th October 2015|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

A rogue landlord has been ordered to repay £70,000 in rent under the Proceeds of Crime Act, after renting out a substandard basement as housing.

Islington Council, which took Andrew Panayi to court, initially sought a confiscation order of £103,000, equivalent to 14 years worth of rent.

The council, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency, states that it will tackle other landlords where necessary.

Landlord Ordered to Repay £70,000 in Rent

Landlord Ordered to Repay £70,000 in Rent

Panayi rents out a large portfolio in the north London borough. He is notorious for letting out very small properties.

In this particular case, the basement below a café was priced at £975 per month.

Panayi pleaded guilty to letting the unlicensed basement, despite an earlier enforcement notice that it was “an unsatisfactory and substandard unit of residential accommodation… with inadequate light and outlook and poor living environment”1.

He was also fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,000 by a judge at Blackfriars Crown Court.

Panayi rented the space for 14 years after purchasing the property in 2000. In court, he claimed that he did not know council inspectors had ruled that it should not be used as a self-contained accommodation unit.

Company information reports state that Panayi’s firm, Ploughcane, has a net worth of £2.3m.

Joseph Reeve, representing Panayi, says: “His position remains that he was unaware of the existence of the enforcement notice because he was not notified about this by his solicitors at the time the property was purchased.

“It was accepted by the prosecution and the court that this was far removed from matters involving a criminal lifestyle. This was not the case here. The only benefit my client gained was receipt of rent, which was repaid.”1 

Islington Council’s Executive Member for Housing, Councillor James Murray, comments on the case: “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.”1

The council has already identified Panayi as renting out substandard homes. Last year, 19 of his bedsits above a McDonalds were declared a category one hazard.


About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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