‘No justice’ if tenants given £1m property

Abbey Folami

Abbey Folami

First published in News

JUSTICE would not be served if a judgment goes in favour of tenants fighting eviction from a £1m North Oxford house, a barrister said.

A three-day hearing to decide the fate of occupants of 17 Warborough Road closed at Bicester Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Nigerian Abbey Folami is trying to evict tenants Philip Brown and Keiron Halstead, saying he legally bought the house in 2007 for £108,000 and through leasing land in Nigeria.

Proceedings started in February 2012 and yesterday Richard Devereux-Cooke, representing Mr Folami, gave his closing submissions to Recorder Alastair Wilson.

He hit out at claims that some documents presented to support his client were forgeries and said Mr Folami was working with others to gain possession of the house.

He said: “It has been suggested at various times that Mr Folami was simply a frontman.”

But he said the tenants’ counsel “is grasping at wisps of things to try to create the impression Mr Folami had been party to a fraud when there is no direct evidence of that at all,” he said.

There would be “no justice” in the tenants becoming registered proprietors through the process of adverse possession, he said.

He said: “It is clear from all the evidence that in 2006 [the tenants] found themselves suddenly faced with an opportunity.

“But that amounts to no good reason why people in that position should subsequently gain a benefit that they are not truly entitled to.

“The proper course here is to leave Mr Folami as the registered proprietor.”

Recorder Wilson said he will reserve judgment to a date to be determined.

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Comments (4)

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1:13pm Thu 17 Apr 14

my,say says...

Both party's are trying to make a fast buck. Give the house back to the university. That way there is no winners.
Both party's are trying to make a fast buck. Give the house back to the university. That way there is no winners. my,say
  • Score: 1

2:00pm Thu 17 Apr 14

GaryOxford says...

The tenants are being supported by a local eccentric. Whenever his name comes up in the paper I roll my eyes. I would question the tenant's credibility because they have decided to associate with him.
The tenants are being supported by a local eccentric. Whenever his name comes up in the paper I roll my eyes. I would question the tenant's credibility because they have decided to associate with him. GaryOxford
  • Score: 1

4:14am Mon 21 Apr 14

carfax says...

Do you mean 17 Warnborough Road? Used to owned by the late Z Volak. At least one tenant is a 'sitting tenant' protected tenancy under older tenancy law. So the article appears very confused: the court is not determining possession of the property, but, possibly, ownership.
Mr Folami nor any other person deemed to be the owner will be unable to evict such tenants on the basis of ownership... not unless such tenants provide grounds through some breach of tenancy.

Unexplained is how the property changed hands so recently for only £108,000.. that low price makes no sense, nor the relevance of Mr Folami "leasing land in Nigeria" .. irrelevant: Who is the registered owner at the Land Registry? (such info available online for ~£3.) and when was a new owner last registered? If a change of hands was not registered within some years, then that could complicate things - and there will be a period of time (7? 10? 12 years?) after which, if no rent has been collected for the whole of that period, the property might become the property of the tenants... this much is old news.
But it is a horribly vague article.
Do you mean 17 Warnborough Road? Used to owned by the late Z Volak. At least one tenant is a 'sitting tenant' protected tenancy under older tenancy law. So the article appears very confused: the court is not determining possession of the property, but, possibly, ownership. Mr Folami nor any other person deemed to be the owner will be unable to evict such tenants on the basis of ownership... not unless such tenants provide grounds through some breach of tenancy. Unexplained is how the property changed hands so recently for only £108,000.. that low price makes no sense, nor the relevance of Mr Folami "leasing land in Nigeria" .. irrelevant: Who is the registered owner at the Land Registry? (such info available online for ~£3.) and when was a new owner last registered? If a change of hands was not registered within some years, then that could complicate things - and there will be a period of time (7? 10? 12 years?) after which, if no rent has been collected for the whole of that period, the property might become the property of the tenants... this much is old news. But it is a horribly vague article. carfax
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Thu 8 May 14

alanoxford43 says...

If the eccentric is who I think it is then both sides of this party are being taken for a ride.

Just because this fake Nigerian isn't the owner doesn't really help any claim for adverse possession - my guess is they have been squatting for x amount of time and adverse possession is no longer that simple even if you use the first date of the longer tenant.

In the unlikely event they were to be granted AP.Which would require yet another 2 years of court wrangling. Then all that will probably happen is our favourite developer will simply take the tenants share as his costs for representing them - evict them himself and add another property to his pile.

The biggest surprise in this whole story over the years is how on earth the two tenants haven't realised they are being used.

Its a No win no fee-- If I win I'll have the lot.
If the eccentric is who I think it is then both sides of this party are being taken for a ride. Just because this fake Nigerian isn't the owner doesn't really help any claim for adverse possession - my guess is they have been squatting for x amount of time and adverse possession is no longer that simple even if you use the first date of the longer tenant. In the unlikely event they were to be granted AP.Which would require yet another 2 years of court wrangling. Then all that will probably happen is our favourite developer will simply take the tenants share as his costs for representing them - evict them himself and add another property to his pile. The biggest surprise in this whole story over the years is how on earth the two tenants haven't realised they are being used. Its a No win no fee-- If I win I'll have the lot. alanoxford43
  • Score: 0

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