Peter Rachman

Born 1919

Peter Rachman was a London landlord in the Notting Hill area in the 1950s and 1960s. He became so notorious for his exploitation of tenants that the word "Rachmanism" entered the OED as a synonym for any greedy, unscrupulous landlord. (Ironically, his last name means 'merciful one' in Hebrew.)… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Peter Rachman.

  • Bad Landlords Are Blighting Britain The Guardian
    Google News - Aug 22, 2011
  • Proposed Cuts In Housing Benefit Look Local
    Google News - Aug 18, 2011
  • Millions Of Tenants Snubbed By Landlords Inside Housing
    Google News - Jul 04, 2011
  • Jon Snow: After Half A Century, A Forgotten Scourge Is Back The Independent
    Google News - Jul 03, 2011


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Peter Rachman.


1919 Birth Rachman was born in Lwów, Poland, in 1919, the son of a Jewish dentist.


1939 20 Years Old After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, Rachman may have joined the Polish resistance. … Read More
1941 22 Years Old After the Germans declared war on the Soviet Union in 1941, Rachman and other Polish prisoners joined the 2nd Polish Corps and fought on behalf of the Allies in the Middle East and Italy.
1946 27 Years Old After the war he stayed with his unit, which remained as an occupying force in Italy until 1946 when they transferred to Britain.
1948 29 Years Old Rachman was eventually demobilized in 1948 and became a British resident.


1957 38 Years Old Rachman began his career by working for an estate agent in Shepherd's Bush. By 1957, he built up a property empire in west London consisting of more than one hundred mansion blocks and several nightclubs. … Read More
1958 39 Years Old By 1958 he had largely moved out of slum-landlording into property development, but his former henchmen, including the equally-notorious Michael de Freitas (aka Michael X/Abdul Malik), who created a reputation as a black-power leader, and Johnny Edgecombe, who became a promoter of jazz and blues, helped to keep him in the limelight.


1959 40 Years Old A special police unit was set up to investigate Rachman in 1959, and uncovered a network of 33 companies controlling his property empire. … Read More
1960 41 Years Old Rachman married his long-standing girlfriend Audrey O'Donnell in 1960 but remained a compulsive womaniser, maintaining Mandy Rice-Davies as his mistress at 1 Bryanston Mews West, W1, where he had previously briefly installed Christine Keeler.
1962 43 Years Old After suffering two heart attacks, Peter Rachman died in Edgware General Hospital on 29 November 1962, at the age of 43. … Read More
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