Siddharth Mahajan, a young entrepreneur who made eyes turn with his innovative business ideas, has had allegations thrown around about his business ethics and legality. Some even went to the extent of telling that Siddharth Mahajan forged documents to the advantage of his business and hence was arrested and jailed for it. However, not many know the truth behind all this news about him.
Siddharth Mahajan is a self-made entrepreneur, who has reached the heights of business leadership at a young age due to his own hard work and dedication. He studied Hotel Management and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Oriental School of Hotel Management in Kerala. He then immediately joined Oberoi Hotels and worked for three years in its Jaipur Rajvilas property and earned great feedback from its esteemed clientele.
After his stint at Oberoi, he flew to London to explore business opportunities and that is when conceived a novel business idea to cater to frequent travellers who are bored with the typical hotel accommodation.
Thus HMOs were born
Thus, the concept of HMOs were born. HMOs are Homes in Multiple Occupation. It is a concept similar to serviced apartments where every room inside a house is let out on rent to different customers. Thus this provides a hotel-like accommodation but with immense touch of home.
However, in 2015, he received notices from a London local authority that three of his HMOs did not have the necessary permissions and hence illegal. He then represented himself in front of the legal authorities stating that he had in fact applied for permissions in 2014 and if this law was in place, the licensing authorities should have informed him back then itself. His argument was that he was issued a license for his six-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 time of application.
It was also commonly known that small HMOs did not require any plan to be submitted to the authorities. This further strengthened Mahajan’s argument since all the three properties under scanner were small HMOs.
Had Siddharth Mahajan forged documents?
Months later, on a cold morning, Siddharth Mahajan heard a knock at his door. Little did he know back then that the business which he grew with passion would be placed under scanner and his integrity and ethics questioned. The UK police called on Siddharth Mahajan to inquire about the business licensing documents. They also accused Mahajan of not possessing the required documents for the rooms he had rented out to customers. He was called to the police station to furnish a detailed statement on the matter.
However, Siddharth Mahajan’s lawyer had strongly advised him against disclosing any information to the cops. Following this, Siddharth Mahajan received the first date for a court hearing — January 14, 2019 and a case was also filed against him and his business Tulip Hotels and Real Estate Ltd for the three properties which allegedly violated the laws. So was Siddharth Mahajan jailed? No. Not at all. All he was asked to was to go to the police station and submit a statement. He was not taken into custody nor was he imprisoned for anything.
The legal position
As on date, one out of the three properties have been issued clean chit by the authorities. Two properties are still under scrutiny for not obtaining licences. While the jury gave a clean chit to Siddharth Mahajan on that one property, he questioned why he was being charged with tenancy issues while the owners of the property before him had also used the same property to run six-room HMOs.
Of the 18 charges against him 16 were dismissed due to lack of evidence and only two were taken forward and he was convicted of perverting the course of justice. He is very confident that he would be given justice even in these two instances as well, given that he had conducted his business true to his conscience and with total integrity.
Meanwhile, Siddharth Mahajan was restricted from conducting his business for four months. In this time, he, in an attempt to keep himself occupied and updated opted to pursue a journalism course and taught maths simultaneously. These were his ways to keep himself engaged and his mind filled with optimism and focus which was essential to get back immediately after he is cleared of all charges.
The authorities could not find anything sufficient to arrest or jail Siddharth Mahajan and hence Mahajan awaits with belief that the court will grant him justice.
Siddharth Mahajan’s net worth now stands at around 14 million British pounds and his assets valued at around 48 million British pounds. He also runs Tulips Hotel and Real Estate Ltd which has 57 properties across the world offering world class hospitality services to business executives and students. Of the 57 properties, seven are registered in Siddharth Mahajan’s name and are his own assets while 47 are registered under the name of Tulip Hotels and Real Estate Ltd.