- Siddharth Mahajan – the owner of Tulip Hotels and Real Estate Ltd. has 57 properties; 47 under company registration and 7 under personal registration
- Three properties (6 room HMOs) under scrutiny – 1 wins appeal
- Accused of the forgery but no evidence found
- Lodged an appeal for 2 properties; now awaiting a decision
One cold morning, when Tulip Homes owner heard a knock on his door, little did he know that the business he established with sincere hard work and perseverance would be placed under the scanner and his integrity and work ethics were going to be questioned. Owner of Tulip Homes and Real Estate Ltd. – Siddharth Mahajan was approached by the UK police who enquired about his business license documents and accused him of not possessing the appropriate licenses for apartments he let out to customers.
Mahajan was requested to go to the police station for a detailed interview pertaining to the documents; however, Siddharth Mahajan was advised against divulging any information at this point by his lawyer. Subsequent to the interview, Mahajan received the first court hearing date – 14th January 2019. The case was filed against the Tulip Hotels owner for three properties that were registered under his name.
How it all began – The property case and the actual story behind it
In 2015, Siddharth Mahajan was given enforcement by the government prohibiting him from using the 6 room HMOs without a plan. As per its Article 4, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham had retracted permitted development rights for the change of use of dwelling houses to HMOs (House in Multiple Occupation) throughout the borough. In essence, the Barking Council had now deemed Mahajan’s HMOs illegal.
During the three-week trial, authorities claimed these three properties were transformed into 6 room HMOs without the appropriate licensing and accused Mahajan of not submitting a plan to the council. Following the enforcement, Siddharth questioned why he was issued a license for his 6 room HMOs by the council in 2014 when the rule of plan submission for HMOs was already enforced in 2012. He protested that if there was such a law, then authorities ought to have informed him of the same during the license application procedure. Also, a commonly known fact was that small HMOs did not require any plan and all the three properties in question were, in fact, small HMOs. The scenario turned ambiguous for Siddharth Mahajan. He demanded to understand that if HMOs with six rooms or more required a plan, then why the council issued the licenses for these HMOs.
It was argued that there exist two disparate departments; one is the licensing department which overlooks the health and safety aspects and quality of accommodation and the other – planning and development of properties. Considering the licensing department had permitted the licenses for Siddharth’s small HMOs, the Tulip Hotels owner remained unacquainted with Article 4 of the Barking Council.
Siddharth admitted before his barrister that he had limited knowledge about the legalities concerning HMOs as his business was still in its embryonic stage. Just as he was slowly, steadily absorbing and understanding the laws and regulations, ensuring his business processes were well in line with them, the council placed allegations of foul play on him.
The propaganda that was created
During the proceedings of the case, authorities propagated several anecdotes, and Mahajan’s silence propelled people to ask –
- What is the truth behind Siddharth Mahajan’s property case?
- Was Siddharth Mahajan jailed?
- Are his properties illegal?
- Was he involved in forgery of documents?
- Was he handcuffed and arrested by the police?
- What was the court’s decision?
Following extensive examination, one out of three properties won the appeal; however two still remained under scrutiny. Siddharth Mahajan expressed his displeasure and dejection when the tenants who passed on the tenancy rights to him for the properties in question were given a clean chit by the jury. These tenants had used the 6 room HMOs prior to Mahajan and yet Mahajan had to face the allegations of having forged documents. Authorities placed 18 charges against him of which only 2 were taken forward and convicted him of “perverting the course of justice”.
Every other charge was refuted due to complete lack of evidence. As far as the remaining two properties are concerned, Siddharth is determined by the court of law will serve him justice as he has harbored his business like a child with complete honesty and sincerity.
In the interim, Mahajan was restricted from continuing his business operations (he was given custodial sentencing for four months – 2 months for each property – during which he chose to face the situation like a true warrior. Being fiercely hard-working and dedicated, he took up a journalism course while simultaneously teaching maths in Pentenville to keep himself engaged. His meticulous nature and positive outlook towards life prevented him from allowing this setback to affect his passion for work.
While the police could not find anything suspicious or faulty in Mahajan’s overall business conduct and thus could not penalize/punish him, he has appealed to the court and is awaiting its decision.
Siddharth Mahajan – The young businessman with a flourishing career
Siddharth Mahajan began his professional journey in the hospitality industry in 2001 after completing his Bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management from Oriental School of Hotel Management. After working for 2 years in Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, Mahajan set foot in London in search of possible growth avenues. Following a few short but extremely enriching and fruitful stints with various hotels led him to start his own business – Tulip Hotels and Real Estate Ltd. He began letting out service apartments to travellers looking for long-term stay options with comforts and facilities of a house. The business burgeoned and Siddharth became a successful young entrepreneur in the UK serving the community well and offering them a perfect sense of place and home. Today, the Tulip Hotels owner has 40 million British pounds worth of assets to his credit of which 26 million are in lending and 14 million British pounds are what form his current net worth.