Logo

The millionaire and Turkish princess behind squalid Norwich flats

PUBLISHED: 06:30 10 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 10 October 2018

Landlords of the flats at 60 St Faith's Lane, Nick Sutton with wife Ayse, pictured at Ayse's 13-bedroom mansion in Sussex.

Landlords of the flats at 60 St Faith's Lane, Nick Sutton with wife Ayse, pictured at Ayse's 13-bedroom mansion in Sussex.

Archant

The family behind a scandal-hit apartment block live a life of luxury and are members of the Turkish Royal family – while their tenants live in damp and dangerous flats.

Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: ArchantMould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant

On Monday the city council ordered all 25 tenants to leave a 41-room apartment block at 60 St Faith’s Lane as the building is in such a poor state.

When we visited yesterday, the walls of the flats’ corridors near Prince of Wales Road were covered in mould from leaking raw sewage. And the fire alarms do not work properly, making it unsafe for tenants to live there, the council said.

Three companies linked to the apartments are also being chased for £130,000 in unpaid bills.

Meanwhile the landlords – married couple Nick and Ayse Sutton – are millionaire property developers, connected to the Turkish Royal family.

Mrs Sutton owns a £7m mansion in Sussex which the singer Adele once rented.

Ayse, whose maiden name is Osmanoglu, is a princess of the Turkish Royal Family which once ruled the Ottoman Empire.

She describes herself as an interior designer and calls herself Princess Ayse Sutton on Companies House where she is a director and shareholder, along with her husband, of a firm called Imperial Property Company (Holdings) Ltd.

That firm is the majority shareholder of Faiths Lane Apartments Ltd which owns the Norwich flats.

Nick Sutton, director of Faiths Lane Apartments, which owns the flats at 60 St Faith's Lane. Norwich. Photo: Twitter screenshotNick Sutton, director of Faiths Lane Apartments, which owns the flats at 60 St Faith's Lane. Norwich. Photo: Twitter screenshot

In 2004 Mrs Sutton bought a mansion in Horsham, East Sussex, for around £2m, set in 84 acres.

Photos from an estate agent’s website shows the property has two swimming pools, a three-bedroom flat for servants as well as an “extensive and luxuriously appointed” master bedroom. The agents valued the property at more than £7m.

A family portrait online of 
the Suttons and their five 
children shows them in Royal dress with Mrs Sutton wearing a crown.

In contrast when we visited St Faith’s Lane, where the Suttons’ company has repeatedly failed to carry out repairs ordered by the city council, the corridor and doors of the basement flats were covered in thick mould from a leak of sewage.

Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant  Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant

There was a stench of damp throughout the downstairs of the building.

One tenant, who pays almost £600 a month in rent, said she was happy the council was getting all the residents out.

She said her toilet did not work when she moved in but the management company at the flats, Sutton Management, which is also owned by Nick Sutton, did not respond to her.

“The only time I would get a response was saying please pay your rent,” she said.

Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant  Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant

Another tenant, who left the mouldy basement flats at the end of September, said dirty water did not drain from his bathroom and electricity cut out meaning he could not cook.

Despite asking the landlord since February to carry out fix hazards in the building, including the electrics, the work has not been done.

It led the city council to taking the unprecedented step of getting a prohibition order on the flats on Monday, meaning the tenants have 28 days to leave.

They will be given help to find new homes and compensation of almost £50,000 by the council.

The council will attempt to get money off the landlord in fines.

But the Suttons’ firms are already being chased for tens of thousands of pounds.

Sutton Management, Faiths Lane Apartments, and a third company called Max Estates, owned by Nick and Ayse, owe almost £130,000 in unpaid County Court Judgements dating back to 2014.

Sutton Management owes around £64,000 to 15 people, Max Estates £63,000 to 34 people and Faiths Lane Apartments owes £1800 to two parties.

The council has served a prohibition order on these flats on St Faith's Lane, meaning all tenants have 28 days to leave. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe council has served a prohibition order on these flats on St Faith's Lane, meaning all tenants have 28 days to leave. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A cleaning firm at the apartments also contacted this newspaper yesterday saying they had not been paid £1,000 by Sutton Management.

Last year traders also said they were owed money by Sutton Management for work they did at St Faith’s.

Max Estates, meanwhile, featured on BBC One show Rip Off Britain last year accused of not returning deposits to tenants.

The Suttons met at Exeter University and began making money by redeveloping old buildings before selling them on.

Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant  Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant

In 2003 Mr Sutton attempted to develop Fulham Football Club’s ground, Craven Cottage, into flats but the deal turned sour.

And in 2013 his firm Imperial Property Company (London) Limited, which owned and developed hotels, collapsed into administration owing millions of pounds.

Nick Sutton has been contacted for comment.

Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant  Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant

See also: How is landlord getting away with these conditions at £900-a-month city flats?

•Why are taxpayers picking up the bill?

The landlord’s failure to repair hazards in the flats, means, the council said, it has little choice but to get people out for their own safety.

Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant  Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant

To do that the council had to get something called a prohibition order from magistrates on Monday which gives them power to remove tenants.

But as the council is carrying out the action, it, and not the landlord, is liable to pay compensation to the tenants for removing them.

The residents left in the block are getting a total of around £50,000 in compensation.

Of the 41 flats, 25 are occupied. Those who have lived there less than a year will get around £1,000, while those who have been there more than a year can get up to £6,300.

Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant  Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant

The council has issued four fines against the landlord, Faiths Lane Apartments, and its director Nick Sutton, of five-figure sums.

But they have not been paid yet.

•Timeline

The flats in St Faith's Lane have had a load of problems with mould, water pouring down the walls and through light fittings, and lifted floorboards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe flats in St Faith's Lane have had a load of problems with mould, water pouring down the walls and through light fittings, and lifted floorboards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

October 2017: Tenants complain about deposits not being returned by landlord at 60 St Faith’s Lane

October 2017: Tradesmen who have worked at the flats say they are owed thousands of pounds by the management company at the block, Sutton Management

December 2017: City Council orders landlord to give some tenants electric heaters after visit shows cold, damp conditions in some rooms

February 2018: The council issues improvement notices to the landlord, after identifying hazards in the building, including with the electrics and heating. They order him to carry out repairs.

Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant  Mould at St Faith's Lane. Photo: Archant

August 2018: A tenant videos and photos water pouring down the walls and corridor in her basement flat

October 2018: With work still not done the council gets a prohibition order on the building, ordering all tenants to leave within 28 days so work can be carried out. It is not clear who will pay for that work.

Related articles

Latest Property Articles

More than 400 new homes are to be built in Norfolk over the next three years, as County Hall begins building and selling houses for the first time to raise millions of pounds.

The £45m revamp of two huge towers in the heart of Norwich into homes for 700 students is on track to be completed by September next year.

Time is running out for people to have their say on where thousands of new homes could be built in and around Norwich over the next two decades.

Plans have been lodged to create a seven-bed student shared house in Norwich.

Council bosses looking to build houses and, potentially, a swimming pool in Norwich are facing a race to get the site decontaminated or they could have to pay almost £1m back to the government.

A Norfolk group chief executive has criticised ‘ridiculous’ lending criteria after he was forced to pull out of buying a city centre penthouse because he could not get a mortgage.

Reports in the national press have highlighted a slow-down in the housing market during these uncertain times. However, demand for new homes in East Anglia remains strong. Edward Parker, from Bennett Homes, discusses.

If you are thinking about selling your home in the New Year, you may want to make sure you have the right paperwork, records and certificates in place in order to make the process smoother. Being prepared for any potential enquiries will help to avoid delays along the way. Sharron Tennant, from Spire solicitors, discusses.

Looming on the horizon are some most unwelcome changes in the way that UK taxpayers will have to report and pay for capital gains tax (CGT) on residential properties in the future. Jon Hook, managing director at Norwich Accountancy Services, discusses.

A team of volunteers is sought to help celebrate the history of Anglia Square, after a community project was awarded a National Lottery grant of more than £50,000.

Since its Christmas – well nearly – and we haven’t had much cheer this year what with Brexit and all, here for your mild amusement is a lettings version of the 12 Days of Christmas, says Mike White from Martin & Co lettings in Norwich.

William H Brown held its last auction of the year yesterday at the Barnham Broom hotel. Managing director and auctioneer, Simon Arnes, reports on the firm’s sale.

The controversial plans to develop Norwich’s Anglia Square have been given the go-ahead and here’s a first look at what new homes in the development could look like.

The humble bungalow was once considered the house type that style forgot. But not any more. And with more people living longer and less bungalows being built, single storey dwellings have never been more popular. Whatever would Granny say?

The developer behind the £271m Anglia Square revamp has likened the scheme to Marmite - conceding that some people will hate it.

The controversial £271m redevelopment of Norwich’s Anglia Square has been approved by city councillors.

It would be an “abomination” if the £271m Anglia Square revamp is given the go-ahead, the Lord Mayor of Norwich has said, as councillors get ready to make a decision on the controversial scheme.

A family that had threatened to stage a protest at a Norfolk housing development over fears they could be homeless at Christmas have finally been promised the keys to their new home.

A decision on whether to grant permission for one of the most contentious and biggest planning applications Norwich has seen for years will be made today.

The controversial revamp of Norwich’s Anglia Square has the potential to create more than 500 new jobs, while people living in the new homes could spend up to £40m a year, council officers have said.

Designer Wayne Hemingway has joined the debate over the £271m plans for Anglia Square, urging city councillors to reject the proposals.

An estate agent who had to pull out of a city centre office said she has enjoyed her ‘best year ever’ at premises in the suburbs - as the debate continues over whether businesses are being driven out of Norwich.

A call for the government to make the final decision if councillors grant permission for the £271m Anglia Square revamp has been backed by civic watchdog the Norwich Society.

A fresh bid has been lodged over the future use of Norwich’s Grade II-listed Crystal House - and to build nine homes behind the back of the historic building.

Norwich is in danger of losing business investment because of a shortage of good quality commercial premises and an increasing number of road closures.

In today’s fast paced and technology driven society, it is essential to market your property in the most effective way, with the widest exposure. Sheron Harley, managing director of the Property Shop, discusses.

Developers behind plans for Norwich’s Anglia Square are hoping to be excused from paying almost £9m, if their proposals get the go-ahead.

Are you looking to sell a property quickly? Auction House, with four sale rooms in East Anglia, has the answer.

Hardwick House, one of the most impressive buildings in Norwich which is currently empty and boarded up, could become a pub as it goes up for rental after its £1.6 million sale falls through.

The controversial £271m proposal to revamp Norwich’s Anglia Square has been recommended for approval.

A controversial move to excuse some developers in Norwich from paying a levy of thousands of pounds is crucial if sites are not to stand derelict, council leaders have insisted.

More than £1m is to be spent to turn a block of offices into seven council homes.

‘Brexit is Brexit and people still want to move’ - that was the message from estate agents working in Norfolk and Suffolk who declare 2018 has been a better year for sales than 2017 despite new gloomy figures showing a 12 per cent fall in transactions.

He spent last winter homeless and on the streets but this Christmas a Norwich man will have a roof over his head after he has been helped by a charity.

Despite house prices rising, the number of properties sold has fallen; down by 12 per cent in Norfolk and 8 per cent in Suffolk compared with the same period last year, new figures reveal.

Important news for future house hunters contained in October’s budget was that the government’s Help to Buy scheme is to be extended – but only until 2023.

If you’re thinking about selling part of your garden land for development, there are several things to consider. Carolyn Bunn, from Spire Solicitors, discusses.

It is one of the most contentious and biggest planning applications Norwich has seen for years - the revamp of Anglia Square - and a decision is just weeks away. How did we get to this point? And what is being planned? Dan Grimmer reports.

A Norfolk couple who are house builders have won a national award at a ceremony likened to the ‘Oscars of the construction industry.’

It is a derelict, fire-hit site that has been sitting empty for a decade in Thorpe St Andrew.

Plans have been submitted to Norwich City Council to create a 10 bedroom house.

From bringing ‘ghost’ ponds back to life, to environmentally switched-on schoolchildren and energy-efficient social housing - projects in Norfolk have been celebrated with awards.

What’s the importance to a firm of feedback? Ben Rivett, of Savills’ Norwich residential team, discusses.

Situated at the end of a no-through road, you would never have reason to find this magnificent house, originally the home of an esteemed Norwich coroner. And yes, it really is on a hill! Property editor Caroline Culot had the joy of visiting Hill House in Bramerton, for sale for £2.5million.

Meet the Editor

Caroline Culot

Email
Twitter

I am the property editor in charge of delivering some exciting and informative content within Archant’s varied titles. We have 16-17 pages of stories, features and columns in the EDP Property supplement out every Friday free in your EDP so please don’t miss it.