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Council kicks out private tenants while charging landlords £1,000

A council which this week announced that it would charge landlords almost £1,000 for a licence, is now being accused of kicking out over 100 tenants.

Lambeth council in south London is introducing a Selective Licensing Scheme in four wards, ahead of an expected roll out to another 19. A report prepared by the council says the licence - costing £943 - is in line with a policy that makes Lambeth “a place we can all call home.”

However, now the same council has been accused of forcing over 100 private tenants to look for new homes because they had moved on to estates which the council has now earmarked for regeneration and potential demolition.

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The BBC reports that the properties in question are former council properties which were privately purchased under the long-standing Right To Buy scheme. Lambeth council has re-purchased the properties and let them out - advertised through private lettings agencies - and some tenants signed contracts without knowing they were actually with the local authority.

This is because the contracts, via agents, were with ‘HfL’ - Homes for Lambeth, an arms-length management company set up by the council.

Now the council wants to redevelop or in some cases demolish parts of the housing estates on which the properties are located and are obliging the private tenants  to move out. 

A council spokesperson is quoted as telling the BBC: "The council is seeking to use all the properties it can to support those families most affected by the housing crisis. The properties in question are former Right To Buy homes that the council has bought back, and we are planning to use them to provide vital housing for homeless families in our borough.

"These properties were let to private tenants on a fixed-term basis, as Assured Shorthold Tenancies, and this was only ever intended to be a short-term measure.

"The tenants have been advised that when their current fixed-term tenancies come to an end they will not be renewed.

"The agencies managing the tenancies on behalf of Homes for Lambeth have contacted tenants to let them know that their tenancy will not be renewed and, where suitable, to offer support to help them find alternative accommodation."

The BBC cites a case study of one tenant, Mylene Lejuste, and her husband. They signed a two-year lease in January 2022 and last November agreed to a renewal. But within months they were told their landlord - which turns out to be Lambeth council - "will now need possession of the property".

Their son, aged six, attends a local school and they said they felt part of the local community. Mylene Lejuste told the BBC: "When we viewed the property and they asked us how long we wanted to rent the place for, we said three years plus. Since day one we have told them this is our home. We are looking for a long term house. I felt abused and fooled. They knew from day one. I feel they haven't been transparent."

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  • George Dawes

    Lambeth is the last place on earth id choose to call home

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    A whole new meaning to doing the Lambeth walk! 😂😂😂😂😂

  • Richard LeFrak

    What a nasty council, run by Labour by any chance??

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    Of course

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    The Rotton Baskets. They new all along BUT did it all the same. Playing with peoples lives!!

  • Jeevan Manandhar

    I hope the tenants take the council's own advice to tenants when private landlords attempt to evict them and remain in the property. Do not make yourselves intentionally homeless. Prolong the process for as long as possible and eventually when bailiffs arrive, take the documentation straight to the council and demand to be housed. Maybe stop paying rent also and ask the council to arrange a payment plan so you only need to pay £5 per month.

  • Jaeger  Von Toogood

    What do you expect from a labour run borough?

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