The Times’s report of unlawful bnb raves at the prime London Docklands site West India Quay may have stopped flats being rented out where landlord John Christodoulou and property manager Rendall and Rittner failed.
One £1.5 million flat belonging to a former prime minister of Thailand has been removed as a rental property from the tech portal.
Residents of an east London skyscraper say they have had to endure a spate of illegal raves taking place in luxury flats let on a short-term basis. Leaseholders at One West India Quay, in Canary Wharf, claim that parties have been held in at least three flats in the tower and they have raised the issue for four years to no avail.
According to The Times:
“Renting out flats for short-stays on sites such as Airbnb breaches leases and planning rules. Yet neither the freeholder, controlled by John Christodoulou, a Monaco-based billionaire, nor its managing agent have taken legal steps to stop it.”
The newspaper claims that on May 28 during the Covid-19 lockdown, up to 200 people packed into a neighbouring flat, owned by another absentee leaseholder.
Residents at the block claim that at other parties rented out for short periods “dozens of canisters of nitrous oxide” were discarded. In January police were called after a pot plant was thrown at a concierge.
One of the flats has been traced to Thaksin Shinawatra, an exiled former prime minister of Thailand, whose wealth is estimated at $1.9 billion by Forbes.
The Times journalist Martina Lees writes: “One West India Quay’s lease bans letting for terms of under six months. It also says that flats can only be used as homes for one household, and not for any “actionable nuisance”. London planning rules ban homes from being short let for more than 90 days a year.”
Mr Christodolou’s Yianis Group – which is in prolonged legal disputes with the leaseholders at nearby Canary Riverside – did not comment to The Times.
The newspaper reported that Rendall & Rittner said it hired a security guard after the rave to turn away party-goers, and included the comment:
“We are appalled by the recent behaviour of individuals at West India Quay and are taking action against all of those involved.”
The Martina Lees article was duplicated by Mail Online:
200 people were attended an illegal lockdown rave at One West India Quay Neighbours claim three flats are involved in short-term letting for party hosts Canisters of nitrous oxide were found abandoned at the site of the illegal rave Hundreds of party goers have angered owners of luxury apartments in east London after taking advantage of short-term lets to hold illegal raves.
July 17, 2020: The Times have subsequently amended the article to remove references to Airbnb, which has stated that it had no involvement in the lockdown raves.