London News & Search
A lettings agency run by a jet-setting couple faces fines and costs of more than £20,000 after admitting that it illegally deprived tenants of their housing rights.
Green Live Ltd, based in Islington, wrongly issued “sham licences” designed for live-in nannies or lodgers instead of assured tenancy agreements to two renters in Holloway.
This meant they had no legal protection against eviction by their landlords or any guarantee that their deposit would be returned.
Council inspectors were called in by one of the renters who found he was unable to recover his deposit. The local authority brought a prosecution against the firm that is thought to be the first of its kind in Britain.
Green Live, run by director Adis Karahodza, 38, whose wife Mirela, 35, is company secretary, was fined £11,000 for issuing the licences.
It was also fined £5,000 for using the logo of the UK Landlord Accreditation Partnership, to which it did not belong.
The firm was also ordered to pay £3,000 in compensation to one tenant who could not recover his deposit and £1,500 in costs to the council.
Mr and Mrs Karahodza were not personally prosecuted for, or convicted of, any offences.
The social media profiles of the couple, who live in a £1 million detached house in Newbury, Berkshire, with their three children, reveal an extravagant lifestyle of foreign holidays, designer shopping and fine dining.
In 2013, Mr Karahodza, originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, posted a picture of himself on the deck of a yacht captioned: “We need to upgrade Mirela … please do not spent too much in New York so we can upgrade to a Princess V65 yacht.”
The V65 sells for about £525,000.
In 2016, while the investigation was under way, his wife wrote of drinking champagne at notable London bars, dining at international restaurants and meeting Princess Anne on a tour of her private helicopter.
Green Live — which uses the motto “Helping You Live Better” — has attracted 20 one-star or two-star reviews from customers on Google, with one warning others to avoid it “at all costs”.
Councillor Diarmaid Ward, executive member for housing and development, said: “We want everyone in Islington to have a decent, secure home, and to be protected from illegal and precarious housing conditions.
“This case, which we believe is the first of its kind in the country, shows we will take action where letting agents break the law and issue sham licences.
“If we become aware of any similar cases we will investigate with a view to prosecution.”
In a statement Green Live, based in Holloway Road, said it had “pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to three offences at Highbury Corner magistrates’ court on August 10, 2017”. It added: “The offences related to issuing licences to two tenants in circumstances where the company should have issued assured shorthold tenancy agreements instead.
“The licences were issued by employees who worked for the company at the time. These employees no longer work for the company.
“The third offence related to use and display of an organisation’s logo on company paperwork in circumstances where accreditation with that organisation had lapsed.
“This was an oversight on the part of the company and the company accepted responsibility for this at court accordingly.”
London News & Search