Anxious tenants at Arlington House face 25%-36% rent rise – Isle of Thanet News
Residents of Margate Tower say they will struggle to stay in their homes after being handed rent increases they say are between 25% and 36%.
Freshwater Property Management Limited, which holds the lease on the 18-storey building (plus roof level) through its company Metropolitan Property Realizations Limited, has 36 apartments for rent and has issued rent increases to its tenants.
The increase, which will start in October, means some tenants will have to find an average of £250 extra each month to pay their rent.
“All of my Freshwater tenants have received an email about the rent increase,” said one tenant, who did not want to reveal her name for fear her lease would not be renewed.
“The message states that my lease is about to expire and that I have 14 days to respond to the email or they have the right to withdraw my lease renewal offer, so they can evict me.
“The additional amount would be more than £200 a month, and although it would be the average price for the area, it represents a significant price rise in one go.
“Some of our tenants are single parents and will struggle with this increase. We all knew there would be a rent rise, but to raise the rent by more than £200 in one go is crazy.
“People are in shock but there is nothing legally written about how much they can raise the rent, there is no cap.
“It’s 22 o’clock, try to pay or be evicted, but then you can’t be housed here because the council is sending people to places like Medway for temporary accommodation.”
Mayor of Margate and former Arlington tenant Rob Yates says Freshwater, also called Daejan Holdings, owns £881 million of residential properties in the UK and has begun “maximizing rental income at Arlington House by demanding a 35% rent increase or demanding Tenants out.” “.
He adds that the company paid bonuses to its directors worth £1.5 million in 2022.
He also points to a list of problems that tenants and renters in the area have faced, including:
Cllr Yates said: “We know the rental system is broken in the UK when property management companies like Daejan Holdings explicitly describe their business strategy as ‘maximizing net rental income and therefore enhancing capital values’ without mentioning fair rents, and the safety of properties.” The buildings or the well-being of their tenants.
“The market rental rate in Margate is not a target to be achieved, especially by landlords who fail to manage their assets safely on behalf of residents. We need a system that stops rewarding rent extraction and rewards the right outcomes such as well-maintained buildings and fair rent.
“As a former tenant of this building who witnessed (the problems) in the building firsthand, I feel it is my duty and obligation to speak out about this matter.”
Fresh Water has been contacted for comment but has not yet responded.
As of September 4, Thanet District Council had 238 families in temporary accommodation and around 1,604 applicants on the housing waiting list.
Thanet Council is facing rapid growth in the number of people becoming homeless and expects demand for housing to continue to grow due to rising rents, the cost of living crisis and courts clearing backlogs of eviction notices.
For some people who become homeless, it means relying on the council to provide temporary accommodation so they don’t end up sleeping rough or sofa surfing.
Families who find themselves at risk of homelessness should contact the Housing Options Team as soon as possible so they can try to prevent them from having to leave their current home.
Councilor Helen Whitehead, Thanet Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, expressed concerns regarding rent inflation generally across Thanet, and its impact on the health and stability of residents.
She said: “The cost of living crisis, when combined with the popularity of Margate and Thanet as a whole, creates unique challenges and extraordinary pressures for residents. With a lack of central controls on private renting, external markets and external financial pressures determine rent; With the decline in the Local Housing Allowance, also set by central government, and interest rate increases affecting all aspects of housing, properties within Thanet are no longer unaffordable for many residents.
“We are doing everything we can to support those facing rent increases or homelessness, against a backdrop of very challenging circumstances. We are increasing our production of affordable housing by over 400%, with 51 units already approved, in addition to increasing Our temporary accommodation: We will continue to increase the supply of truly affordable housing, support residents, and push for increases in the Local Housing Allowance, to ensure Thanet is affordable for all members of our community.
Advice for citizens
Thanet Council Housing Team 01843 577277