Shocked residents had contacted the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association‘s housing advice service today after rumours had spread about the sale of the flats. One resident turned up in tears after someone had knocked on their door. “Someone came to our door and knew our names and said the flats had been sold and that they were the new owners,” said the tenant who wanted to remain anonymous.
In a letter sent to all the tenants, Peter Burroughs of UCLH Charity explained that they were considering selling the flats and had had a “number of unsolicited offers from investment companies, none of which we have accepted”.
Mr Burroughs apologised to tenants who had strangers knock on their doors and said that these people had no authority to do this.
UCLH Charity have recently refurbished the flats but then asked for huge rent increases. Three tenants successfully challenged a rent increase recently when the valuation office set a more modest rent increase at close to inflation. However, UCLH Charity then appealed the decision arguing that because of the refurbishments the rents should be un-capped from their previous protected level.
The Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association represented the tenants at the Rent Assessment Panel and argued the case for the tenants’ rent being capped because the refurbishments were unsatisfactory and unwanted. The tenants are still awaiting the decision.