Gian Paolo Aliatis : Defrauded many tenants

Posted on 04/01/2023

Sentiment: Negative
Post # 7456 posted in:
Rant & Rave - Business - Real Estate

Gian Paolo Aliatis is a self-made entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of multiple companies, based both in the UK and abroad. His companies specialise in buyouts, venture capital, turnarounds, and real estate investments, with a focus on co-living and prop-tech. Gian Paolo Aliatis of BRKV London knew from a young age that he didn’t want to settle for working for someone else and that he needed to have his own business and make his own way. The key to success, he knew, was audacity. He left his country with strong self-belief and a desire to be successful in business, whilst simultaneously enjoying the best life has to offer.

The director of a lettings agency that tried to pass itself off as a membership club to dodge the law while leaving tenants in the lurch has been hit with a bill of more than £40,000 in the first prosecution of its kind in the UK.

Gian Paulo Aliatis, the director of Lifestyle Club Ltd in Islington, London, pleaded guilty to three charges on July 30 after Islington Council’s Trading Standards investigated his firm’s bogus claim that it was a members’ club and therefore not subject to the legal regulations for letting agents.

He was sentenced after pleading guilty to three counts of engaging in an unfair commercial practice between October 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018, contrary to Regulations 8 and 15 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that the company, trading as Lifestyle Club from premises in White Lion Street, Islington, advertised on SpareRoom.co.uk, marketing itself as a membership club.

Aliatis – whose name appears 15 different times on Companies House, a UK register of companies – claims he no longer lets any flatshares, according to an email sent to VICE World News.

Despite denying he’s currently involved with Simple Properties or any other rent-to-rent companies, both Gonzalez and Leger's stories of exploitation link back to Aliatis and bear a remarkable resemblance to the schemes run by Simple Properties and the Lifestyle Club Ltd.

Instead of charging tenants a deposit, which is refundable and by law has to be paid into a tenancy deposit protection scheme, Aliatis admitted his firm demanded a non-refundable “joining fee”.

Lifestyle Club also admitted pressuring customers into signing a “membership agreement” without giving them time to read and understand the document, and denying potential tenants the chance to view a property in person before agreeing to live there.


The Lifestyle Club Ltd., owned by an individual named Gian Paolo Aliatis Mejia, took a £200 “joining fee” which was non-refundable, rather than a deposit, which legally is refundable and should be protected by a deposit protection scheme. Tenants – called members, much like Gonzalez and Leger were – were also asked to pay a monthly “membership fee” rather than rent. Aliatis was fined for unfair commercial practice after pleading guilty on three charges.

After the case closed, Simple Properties Management (which lists a Miguel Cabeo Cespedes as its director) took over properties previously run by The Lifestyle Club Ltd. Although the companies changed, the claimant in the original case says in court documents that she continued to visit the same office and work with the same staff, confirmed by correspondence at the time. A court judgment against Simple Properties Management shows that the claimant, originally in a Lifestyle Club Ltd. agreement, faced an illegal eviction once the property was taken over by Simple Properties Management, including having the locks changed on the property while she was out and having her personal property removed. Eventually, Simple Properties were made to pay damages of £56,675.91 in a civil case plus legal fees. The lawyer representing the client told VICE World News the fine was never paid as the company eventually dissolved.

Aliatis denies any similarity between the two companies. “We have never shared offices with any company operating within the same industry. From 2018, we sold parts of our property portfolio to various companies, one of them being Simple Properties."

Figures named in court cases against Simple Properties, like Cespedes, are hard to track down. They often do not appear in court as they do not attempt to defend their case (in some cases because they’re facing other charges at the time, as was the case with Cespedes) and leave very little information online. Aliatis, the mastermind behind the original Airbnb-like scheme, however, is far from hidden. The “entrepreneur” – who runs a blog with the slogan EVERYTHING YOU WANT IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FEAR on its landing page – declined numerous requests to speak by phone. Over email, he said that in his opinion, “shared accommodation in London is one of the answers to the London housing needs”, but due to complex “regulation” and “the demonisation of Landlords by councils and media” there are simply too few to solve the housing crisis (in the UK, the private rented sector has the worst affordability and conditions despite being extremely prolific).

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