A very public dispute over rent reductions during the lockdown between a billionaire landlord and his tenants has turned legal.
A group of tenants living within Olympic House on Somerford Grove in Stoke Newington earlier this summer asked landlord and developer John Christodoulou for a temporary 20% rent reduction during the lockdown via his local letting agency, Tower Quay.
But after initially saying renters’ requests for relief would be dealt with individually, they were turned down and eviction notices have now been served to the tenants, local media has reported.
The dispute between the residents, who have been supported by campaigning group the London Renters Union, and Christodoulou have created national headlines and comments from the Mayor of London and Labour MP Dianne Abbott.
Despite this, Tower Quay has now told the organisers of the campaign that their tenancies will not be renewed, and they have been served with Section 21 eviction notices.
But both neither side appear to be up-to-date on the current eviction ban in place within England.
The tenants say they have been told to move out by 21st September – but at the moment landlords must wait three months until serving notice on tenants, and the court system is not due to start hearing possession cases again until August 24th.
“Examples like the poor treatment of the Somerford Grove residents by their landlord shows how important it is to continue campaigning for better renting in Hackney, especially as the wider impact of the coronavirus pandemic hits,” says Councillor Sem Moema (right), Hackney’s mayoral advisor for private renting and housing affordability.
“That’s why we’re continuing to make the case for a complete end to Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions, meaningful welfare support for tenants, and longer-term help for the thousands of private renters who will be at risk of homelessness when the eviction freeze ends next month.”