These are the super-rich property owners with empty homes near the burnt-out Grenfell Tower

caption
Grenfell Tower as seen on June 26.
source
Getty Images

Since Grenfell Tower was consumed by fire in mid-June, most of its surviving inhabitants have been living in hotels or other temporary accommodation.

Despite pledges by the government to rehouse victims quickly, only 12 households have so far been moved. The process has been difficult because most residents do not want to uproot and move far from their north Kensington neighbourhood.

Meanwhile, a new trove of information has shown that there are 1,652 long-term unoccupied homes nearby, often owned by the extremely wealthy.

The Guardian newspaper named many of the owners, including billionaires from the United States, Dubai, and Ukraine. The newspaper said it was emailed the information by Kensington and Chelsea council, apparently by accident.

Under British law there is no way to reclaim a home just because it is empty. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said Kensington proprieties should be “requisitioned” for Grenfell survivors, and said at the very least it illustrates the gulf between the area’s wealthy and its poor.

Here are six of the most remarkable names on the list.


Michael Bloomberg, United States.

source
Getty Images

The former mayor of New York City is probably the most famous name on the list.

The Guardian said he owns a seven-bedroom, Grade II*-listed mansion, which appears to be this house on Cheyne Walk in Chelsea, which he bought in 2015.

Bloomberg was given an honourary knighthood in 2014. He has called London his “second home” and has been repeatedly mooted as a potential mayor.


Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, United Arab Emirates.

source
Reuters

Sheikh Mohammed, the Emir of Dubai and prime minister of the UAE, was also listed.

He owns property in Kensington and Chelsea via Smech Properties Ltd, an offshore company, according to the Guardian.

The newspaper did not specify the number of properties or their location.


Christian Candy, United Kingdom.

caption
Christian Candy arrives at the High Court on March 2, 2017
source
Getty Images

The controversial property developer, one of the two Candy brothers, was also named on the list.

The Guardian said his company, Dukes Lodge London Ltd, owns 26 homes in a 1930s apartment building. A spokesman said the buildings are being refurbished and are currently uninhabitable.


Dymitro Firtash, Ukraine.

Firtash is a Ukrainian billionaire who is wanted by the US Department of Justice on allegations of bribery and corruption.

He is also a London property owner, and has a single £53 million ($70 million) property in Kensington and Chelsea.

He was arrested in Vienna, Austria, in 2014, and is still on bail Austria, according to USA Today.

A lawyer for Fitash told the Guardian that his client owns the property, and planned to redevelop it, but got distracted by the legal battle with the US government.


Peter Fincham, United Kingdom.

source
PA

Fincham is a multimillionaire British television executive whose past jobs include the controller of BBC1 and the director of television for ITV. He now runs his own production company, named Expectation.

He owns a single £6 million home in the area, which he told the Guardian he is in the process of selling.


And at least 1,000 more.

caption
Egerton Crescent, Kensington, which was named Britain’s most expensive street in 2013.
source
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Most of the names on the list of 1,197 people received by the Guardian have not been made public.

Given that there are 1,652 empty homes in total, it appears that the vast majority of people on the list own one empty property each.

Just over 1,000 have been listed as empty for between one and two years, while the remaining 600 or so have been vacant for two or more.