Council Stops Landlord Renting Storeroom

A council has banned a landlord from renting out a former caretaker’s storeroom as a tiny one-bedroom flat.

Southwark council stopped the renting of the ‘flat’ by landlord Christian Podina by winning a planning appeal to ensure that the property near Canada Water could not be rented as a residential property.

The former storeroom in Rope Street, SE16 fell a massive 27 per cent below the minimum size allowed by planning approval, measuring just 27 metres square. It also had only one proper window in the entire property.

The minimum size allowed to obtain planning approval for a rental flat is 37 square metres, and the council also found that the lack of windows meant there was not enough natural light or ventilation for the property.

The landlord now has a time limit of four months in which to cease using the property as residential and must also remove both the bathroom and kitchen to return the property back to its original state.

He is also responsible for the council costs in the matter, which are expected to be several thousand pounds, and will be liable to prosecution if he fails to comply with the council order.

Cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, Cllr Mark Williams, commented: ‘We are very aware that there is a housing crisis in London and we want to make sure there are homes being built across our borough, of all types.

This does not mean we will allow unscrupulous landlords to make money by renting out unsuitable, cramped and uninhabitable premises wherever they see fit.

‘This case shows we will take action against anyone who fails to meet our standards for decent, quality homes for our residents.’

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