A landlord labelled the UK’s worst by a national newspaper has said it is her tenants who are to blame rather than her.
Katia Goremsandu is a 64-year-old London landlord who has seven convictions for property offences under her belt. This puts her at the top of the list of landlords who have faced prosecution for providing unlicensed and poor quality homes, according to records from the Ministry of Justice.
The Guardian newspaper called Goremsandu the ‘worst landlord’ in the country but she says that she is the victim, having faced persecution from her local authority.
Goremsandu’s own address is an apartment within a stunning Bayswater Georgian villa but the flats she rents out, often to those on housing benefit and unemployed, are not in such affluent areas. She claims her flats in converted houses in the Tottenham area of London have been vandalised by envious tenants who are jealous of her wealth.
She also blames the Housing Act of 2004 for her court summons history, together with the Conservative government, who she believes should have repealed the law and shown support for small businesses such as hers. The act enforces standards in housing, empowering the courts to deal with rogue landlords.
Goremsandu, who is a director of a Kensington-registered property company, says that tenants who don’t work or have a home tend to punish landlords through jealousy. She claims it is a mind-set, wherein tenants question why a landlord should have a property when they don’t. As a result, she said, ‘they break it’ and ‘bash it’.
She adds that landlords who don’t have repairs carried out have been criminalised by legislation, leaving them with no avenues to take action against tenants who ‘break’ their properties.
She claims that her properties are periodically vandalised and calls it ‘a war’ between tenants and landlords. She wants the 2004 act to be scrapped, saying that it helps only tenants rather than landlords.
Goremsandu says that landlords like her do not have the money to pay for heavy fines and claims that it isn’t fair that landlords are penalised whilst ‘most’ tenants sponge off the state.
Despite the prosecutions, Goremsandu claims she takes pride in her properties but tenants have ‘bashed’ them, leaving her the victim of harassment and a deterioration in both her health and finances.
She has not revealed the number of rental properties in her portfolio but the Guardian claims that many have been bought using buy-to-let mortgages.