Housing association evicts dozens of tenants in Milton Keynes flats 'for no apparent reason'

One of the UK's largest housing associations has given tenants in an entire block of Milton Keynes flats their marching orders without giving them a reason, it has been claimed.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 5:00 pm

The tenants all live in the 40 flats at Hornbeam Court on Netherfield and many of them have been there for years.

This month they were served with a Section 6a Notice of seeking possession by the landlord, Places for People.

A spokesman for the tenants said: “They are now forced to find alternative accommodation, with no tangible assistance or moving cost or explanation after residing at the property for between five and 14 years.”

Hornbeam Court on Netherfield

The Citizen has contacted Places for People and asked for a reason for the notices to quit.

But they merely issued a statement which said: “We are working closely with our customers to resolve a number of issues at Hornbeam Court and are in contact with them directly and continue to be available to assist with alternative forms of accommodation.”

The tenants say they thought something was amiss when they noticed flats in the court that were becoming vacant were not being re-let over the past year.

Earlier this year they received letters from the landlord to allow the commissioning of new gas meters, which meant the gas would now be excluded from their rent.

This resulted in rent increases of up to £140 a month, which many struggled to pay, say the tenants.

Their spokesman said: “Some tenants have paid the rent increases of up to £140, whilst others have moved out as many are in low income and couldn't afford such drastic increase.

"However, those who have paid the increase have still been served with the eviction notice from Places for People.”

He added: "Tenants feel the landlord have disregard for them and their plight, and lacks transparency... There was explanation for evicting them. One person describes the landlord as appearing unsympathetic, remote and nonchalant of the their plight.

“This is shameful and the landlord should communicate and support the tenants to find new homes. The council is already pressured with providing housing for others and Places for People have other properties in the area which the tenants should be offered as alternative accommodation.”

Hornbeam Court, originally built as social accommodation, is owned by Places for People but managed by the Managing Agents Touchstone.

Meanwhile at nearby Buckland Lodge, a sheltered housing scheme on Netherfield, 22 more tenants are to receive compensation after they were evicted due to subsidence issues.

This week MK Council agreed to give them each a “home loss” payment of £6,400.

The council plans to bulldoze Buckland Lodge and redevelop it, possibly as new council housing.