Siddharth Mahajan and Greedy = NOT TRUE
The name Siddharth Mahajan made a lot of noise last year. Siddharth’s career has seen skyrocketing success in a short span of time that one can only dream of. Despite being in London, Siddharth made a quick journey from an employee to an entrepreneur. To understand how he became a landlord in London, it is imperative to know about the path he took to reach where he reached.
WHO IS SIDDHARTH MAHAJAN – HISTORY OF SIDDHARTH MAHAJAN.
Siddharth Mahajan is a self-made man, who reached the shores of God’s Own Country Kerala to pursue his college education. He enrolled himself in the Oriental School of Hotel Management and completed his three-year Bachelor’s course in Hotel Management in 2002. This course included an International Hotel Hospitality Diploma with the prestigious American Hotel Lodging Association, which gave him a kind of expertise that many of his peers might not have had. He was then placed immediately with a job in the Oberoi group of hotels in its Rajvilas property in Jaipur. Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur is a five-star hotel in India and Siddharth Mahajan was working as a Front Office Assistant and Supervisor till 2005.
After his stint in the Oberoi hotel, he flew abroad to explore more opportunities. He worked with another reputed group in the hospitality sector –Amba Hotel, Marble Arch. He held the profile of a Guest Relations Manager there and his services earned him great appreciation from the guests. He then went on to work with Canary Wharf as Operations Manager before he decided to start up and become a business owner, accomplishing his own dreams for his future.
THE IDEA OF HMO BUSINESS.
Having seen business executives and students who traveled regularly seek accommodation options which gave them not only the comfort of a room but also the feeling of home, Sidd Mahajan came up with a novel idea to cater to their needs. That is when his concept of HMOs was born. The idea was simple and hence genius. HMOs are houses with all necessary furnishing and comfort let out to different people at the same time. He started by converting his own properties into HMOs to test the waters. As his business grew and he started making good name and reputation out of it, he slowly leased out assets and converted them into HMOs. As on date, he has seven properties in his name, operating as HMOs and 47 in the name of his business — Tulip Hotels and Real Estate Limited. He also has around 60 properties leased from other landlords which he has converted into HMOs. His business expanded to other parts of London and even to other parts of the world with an impressive list of clientele and brand collaborations.
SIDD MAHAJAN PROPERTY CASE
The first jolt came in 2015 when Sidd received a notice from Barking and Dagenham Borough, a locality in East London. The notice stated that three of his properties did not have appropriate licenses and were hence illegal. These three properties were let out as HMOs with six rooms each and were categorized as ‘small HMOs’ in the government terminology.
Siddharth Mahajan, however, explained to the authorities that all three properties had the required permissions. He contended that at the time of licensing he was not informed by the concerned authorities about the need to submit plans for the HMOs and hence he cannot be blamed for the lapse. The local authority of the borough stated that the legal requirement to submit plans were introduced in the year 2012 while Siddharth Mahajan had applied for licenses in 2014. But Siddharth Mahajan stated that if submission of plans for the HMOs were needed back then itself, he would have definitely been apprised of the same by the concerned officials. He also questioned why was he allotted licenses to run his HMOs if he had not submitted all the necessary documents.
The borough authorities contended that there were two departments concerned with licensing HMOs and that it was mandatory to get signed off from both departments. Meanwhile, Siddharth agreed that he knew about it and that he acquired knowledge which he himself learned from various sources as his business evolved bigger. The authorities, however, dissatisfied with these explanations, leveled foul play allegations against him.
Out of the three properties in conflict, one HMO received a clean chit from the authorities. And since Siddharth was initially advised against speaking about the case outside, it became a breeding ground for a variety of allegations to be leveled against him without him getting a chance to defend them.
IS SIDDHARTH MAHAJAN IS GREEDY LANDLORD?
This is where the story of Siddharth Mahajan being landlord comes into the picture. Remember that Siddharth Mahajan had leased out 60 assets from private landlords and had converted them into HMOs? Well as it turns out, the properties which were considered illegal by the authorities were in fact already functioning as six-room HMOs even before Siddharth Mahajan leased them out. These facts came out during the probe and Siddharth Mahajan pled that he was being framed by greedy landlords. In essence, he pleaded that he was being made a scapegoat for someone else’s errors. Finally, out of the 18 charges placed on him by the authorities, only two were taken forward and he was convicted of perverting the course of justice. The remaining 16 charges did not hold due to a complete lack of evidence. Siddharth is, meanwhile, sure that the remaining two will also be taken off since he is clear in his conscience of the integrity and honesty in his business.
So while Siddharth Mahajan’s case is still going on, the greedy landlords have no action taken against them for their irregularities and lapse of abiding by the laws of the land.