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Dennis Nilsen

It's not easy to sell a flat once owned by a well-known serial killer

It’s very spacious, at least.

REUBEN JOHN WORKS for the Paul Simon estate agent, and his job is to sell a beautiful one-double bedroom, top-floor flat with its own private balcony in one of London’s most sought-after areas, Muswell Hill.

The flat is being offered at the bargain price of £300,000 (€410,000). London has one of the hottest property markets on the planet right now, and this seems like an incredible deal. It is easily worth hundreds of thousands more in any other location.

There is just one problem… but first, let’s take a look at the flat. Decent enough, right?

23dcranleighgardenspic1 Back room at 23D Cranley gardens. Paul Simon Paul Simon

So much space – something rare for a flat n London.

cranleigh gardens 23d n10 Paul Simon Paul Simon

However, this apartment isn’t for everyone.

It happens to be where serial killer Dennis Nilsen lured between nine and 12 young, homeless gay men and prostitutes, with the promise of food or alcohol, and murdered them.

mugshot-nilson A mugshot of Dennis Nilsen. UK Police UK Police

Nilsen moved into Flat 23D, Cranley Gardens, in North London in October 1981 and was arrested 16 months later when the drains became clogged with pieces of rotting corpses.

He used to chop up the body parts and flush them down the toilet. This is what it looked like when Nilsen lived there:

nilsenhouseold Taken by the police in 1983.

It has been over 30 years since those gruesome events, but it looks as if people still cannot see past Nilsen’s legacy to the incredible real-estate deal that is now on offer in lovely, leafy North London.

The estate agent Paul Simon is upfront about the flat’s history. Its website says:


John, the Paul Simon agent for the property, tells Business Insider:

When we initially marketed the property, we were inundated with enquires and booked an average of eight viewings a week. We are now only achieving minimum interest, say one or two enquiries a week.

The Cranley Gardens flat was sold at auction for £250,000 (€340,000) in August 2013 to a developer that, according to a Business Insider source, wanted to renovate the property and make a bumper profit. It believed it was going for nearly £100,000 (€135,000) less than comparable properties in the area at the time.

The owner did a great job:


It looks nothing like the time Nilsen lived there:

nilsenkitchen 1983 Police photo 1983 Police photo

However, the owner has struggled to offload the property since last year.

The flat may have a past but John, who said he would happily buy the flat himself if he had the budget and was looking to buy in the area, highlighted some of the positives of the flat.

If the property’s history wasn’t an issue for people this property would be going for around £375,000 (€510,000). It would also have a return of 5% for buy-to-let investors who could rent it out.

It even has a private balcony, which is rare in London flats at this price.

One prospective buyer remarked to John that the property had “killer views”:


John said people are only offering “ridiculously low” offers at the moment but remains optimistic: “The right buyer will pop their head up, we hope.”

It can’t help that even some of his co-workers won’t even go into the property to show people around.

“One of my religious workers said he felt the presence of Jins (ghosts) and refused to do viewings,” said John to Business Insider.

That leads to a crucial question: is the property haunted?

Being a person of logic and science, I don’t think it is. Saying that, just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. So I’m sitting on the fence with that one, like any good estate agent.


- Lianna Brinded

Would you be willing to live in a flat like this?

Poll Results:

No (5119)
Yes (3276)
I don't know (864)

Read: A man is selling his $32 million home because it is “a little bit too spread out” >

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