64 years old Katia Goremsandu is top of the Ministry of Justice’s black list of landlords who have been prosecuted for their landlording activities and therefore she can claim the unenviable title as the UK’s worst landlord.
Goreemsandu, who owns rental properties in Haringey, north London, with a rent-roll estimated at £180,000, has been convicted seven times but only fined a total of £16,565 for letting uninhabitable rooms.
Her offenses involve providing poor quality, unsafe and unlicensed homes, but she claims this is not her fault and that she has been persecuted by her local council. She says that her rental flats are vandalised by tenants envious of her property wealth.
Goremsandu was found to be renting out one property, a large house in Tottenham, north London, which had been converted into five flats, using the garage as one flat and a wooden shed on the top of the garage as another.
Goremsandu, a director of a property company registered in Kensington, with her private address listed on Companies House records as an apartment in an upmarket Georgian villa in Bayswater, west London.
Her tenants in contrast are living is her sub-standard bed-sits in converted houses in Tottenham.
The Guardian Newspaper reports that many of her tenants are unemployed and on housing benefit and that she refuses to say how many homes she owns.
According to figures obtained by Environmental Health News (EHN), after it won a freedom of information case against the Ministry of Justice, north London landlords top the list of housing offence convictions
Goreemsandu told the Guardian Newspaper:
“The mentality of a homeless person or the person who doesn’t have work or a property is ‘why should [the landlord] have [a property] and I don’t’. And they bash it, they break it. It is a well-known fact. It is a state of mind. They punish you for being a landlord.”
She told Environmental Health News that she believes the string of court summons she has faced is partly due to the 2004 Housing Act, an Act which enforces housing standards and empowers courts to crack down on rogue landlords. She cannot believe that a Conservative government, which she said should be championing small businesses like hers, has not repealed the law.
“Legislation has criminalised landlords if they don’t carry out repairs but the truth is the tenants break our property,” she said. “We are the victims and we cannot take any action against the tenants.”
“My places are vandalised periodically, alarm systems are broken. It is a war between the landlords and the tenants and they begrudge the fact that we have property. We don’t have money stashed in the bank to be paying heavy fines … The 2004 legislation doesn’t help landlords, it helps tenants and it isn’t fair because most of them are sponging off the state. We want that legislation to be scrapped.”
Goremsandu said, “My health has deteriorated and my finances have suffered,” she said, referring to the London borough of Haringey’s enforcement action against her properties. “I am being victimised and harassed. That is the God’s honest truth. I take pride in my homes but they have been bashed by tenants.”
The list of offenders obtained by Environmental Health News (EHN) from the Ministry of Justice, North London landlords, the landlord name that appears most frequently is Goremsandu while the most prosecuted property firm was Burnley-based Aspire Developments.
The main landlord associations have had a long-running campaigns urging local authorities to crack down more thoroughly on rogue landlords which they say get responsible landlords a bad name. The landlord associations say that existing legislation is more than adequate to tackle this problem, but generally local authorities complain about lack of resources for their inability to solve this problem.
UK’s Worst Landlord Blames Tenants for Convictions – http://t.co/sdBYS96M5y
— LandlordZONE® (@LandlordZONE) July 29, 2015