Beeston tenants set to lose their homes

Scores of households on an estate in Beeston are facing eviction as the new owners impose steep rent rises.

Last November South Leeds Life reported on the sale of the estate – Kirk Beston Close and Cross Heath Grove. New owners PlaceFirst have decided to refurbish the estate to an ‘aspirational’ level and introduce new, higher, rents. Tenants have been given two months to apply for a refurbished home at the new rent, or leave.

Kirk Beston Close, Beeston

The new rent levels will range from £550 per month for a one bed flat to £875 per month for a three bedroom house.

South Leeds Life has spoken to a number of affected tenants who were shocked to receive the news in letters which arrived on Friday (17 March 2017). They told us they felt forced out and had no control over the situation. One tenant told us she had lived on the estate for nine years:

“It might not be much, but it’s our home. I’ve always felt safe here. Now I don’t know what we’re going to do.”

Another tenant said:

“It’s not just a house, it’s my home. If I can’t find somewhere nearby I’ll have to give up my job and my kids will have to move schools.

“It’s not right. I haven’t done anything wrong, I’ve always paid my rent. What do I do?”

“When they took over they came round knocking on the doors, all smiles. Then they sent us a letter to say get out. PlaceFirst? They should be called ProfitFirst.”

PlaceFirst are offering up to £500 to help tenants who move and are encouraging them to seek advice from the Council’s Housing Options service.

South Leeds Life understands that staff at Housing Options were shocked to see the letters and are arranging to visit tenants in their homes on the estate.

Cllr Angela Gabriel said: “I think the best advice to give is that tenants have a right to secure legal advice to make sure their rights are being observed but to approach Leeds Housing Options as soon as possible so that we can make sure legal rights are being observed and also to help them be re-housed.”

Cllr Adam Ogilvie and Hilary Benn MP will be holding their regular surgery at Beeston Library on Friday (24 March 2017) from 5pm.

We approached PlaceFirst for a comment but have not received a response.

 

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Posted in: Beeston

About the Author:

I've lived in Beeston in South Leeds since 1984 and I love the area. I am involved in various community activities including Beeston Festival. I have been involved with the South Leeds Life Group since it started in 2010.

6 Comments on "Beeston tenants set to lose their homes"

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  1. Liz Kitching says:

    Evil profiteers carrying out social cleansing – no tenants needing housing benefit it would appear.

  2. Lynn says:

    I hope they have all the damp sorted out now!!!

  3. Luke Senior says:

    A property owner is entitled to try and charge what they want in rent, but the sums being quoted are unrealistic taking into account the average market price for such property, not just in Beeston but the wider area, taking in Middleton and Morley.

    The build quality isn’t anything spectacular, small gardens, not great access.

    In some parts of Harrogate you’d have change from £750 a month, one of the most expensive places to live in the north of England.

  4. Dave says:

    How to refurbish an estate without getting tenants out? No way.

    The simplest way to achieve that, is to raise the rents to unimaginable heights.

    I do not think this represents a particular trend in housing prices as you might get from the article.

    By the way, they had this planning permission note on nearby Chapel Fold couple years ago, should have opposed that.

    Nor does it affect a general segment of population, again as article gives an impression of.

    Jeremy Morton is making fuss as usual. Gives completely one-sided score.

    Somebody wants to make the place nice and clean from garbage it is. And I mean an overall condition.

    Given that house prices in Beeston are way more expensive than similar areas around it is just normal trend and right thing to do.

    If it is so expensive already, why it should be so ugly?

    That’s just a different opinion for a change, please don’t shoot me 🙂 I know there is great money involved too.

  5. Tracy says:

    Absoulty disgusting…pricing families who’ve probably lived there for years out of the market and their homes. If the houses aren’t up to spec then sort it out. These familes have no doubt lived in poor conditions (damp and such like) and still paid rent religiously, whether this is housing benefit or not. Total social cleansing and profit making scheme. Hope local councillors are following this unethical practice up.

  6. Alika Innocent says:

    Disgusting how companies like this have been allowed to do this, the council should compulsory purchase these properties off ‘place first’ and teach them a lesson !! honestly £550 for a one bedroom flat in Leeds is disgusting !! Not far off the price of a one bedroom down in Cardiff which is around £600 pcm !! This is the north not the south !!!!!

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