A Billionaire landlord’s letting agency is telling tenants of flats in East London to pay the full amount of their rent with savings meant for holidays and food, after over 100 tenants requested a 20% reduction in rent
Tenants who have requested a reduction in rent from their billionaire landlord during the COVID-19 pandemic, were told to pay the full amount of rent due, with the money they would have spent on lunches and holidays.
Over 100 residents living in a block in Somerford Grove, east London, has all signed a letter addressed to their management estate agency, as well as the building’s landlords asking for a 20% reduction in rent and an agreement that none of the tenants of the block would be evicted during the current lockdown measures.
Tower Quay properties, the letting agency that manages the building, told the residents that their requests were “unreasonable” and “unrealistic”, saying that any drop in tenants’ income should be personally minimised by using savings for holidays, as well as a reduction in spending on entertainment, travel, clothes and lunches.
“Subsequently, when all of this is taken into account, in most cases we believe the impact on disposable income will be minimal, and there is therefore no justification for any reduction in rent, especially considering that whilst tenants are isolating the wear and tear in properties is increasing, which will be at the cost of the landlord,” the agent said.
The agent also mentioned the recent support announced by the government, saying that the building’s corporate landlords had not spoken directly to tenants and that all communication was to be done with the agent.
Tower Quay is the agency for 170 of the flats within the Somerford Grove complex, on behalf of the tenants’ landlords. The majority of the tenants who signed the letter have three commercial landlords that are also the freeholders: Simpson House 3, Reverie Estates SR Limited, and Somerford Assets 3. All three companies are majority owned by the billionaire property developer John Christodoulou.
One tenant who had lost their job, and wished to remain anonymous, received the same offer after inquiring about a rent reduction.
The tenant went on to say:
“I don’t know where they think I’m going to find a job in three months. Nobody is hiring. I just can’t believe they’re not willing to budge just an inch to try and help us out.”
Kieran Kirkwood, a spokesperson for London Renters Union (LRU), said:
“Tower Quay’s suggestion that their tenants could be saving money on lunch and holidays in the midst of a global pandemic beggars belief. Many in the block, like renters everywhere, are seriously struggling to make ends meet.”
This news comes after Breaking News Today covered a story of a poll suggesting that Renters in the UK are having to choose between paying rent and eating.