Edinburgh housing: Furious tenants facing eviction from Granton flats have stopped paying rent to ‘rogue’ landlord
Furious tenants at luxury Granton flats who are facing eviction after their ‘rogue’ landlord failed to make mortgage payments have now refused to pay their rents.
Renters at the Strada, off Ferry Road, are set to be turfed out of their homes which are being repossessed after the landlord failed to pay the mortgage since 2017 for some of the flats.
It comes after the Evening News revealed in March that sixteen devastated tenants were given two weeks’ notice to move out, sparking widespread calls for reforms and fairer treatment of tenants in the capital.
Relieved tenants in eight properties got an extension to September with support from MSP Ben Macpherson.
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But now another four tenants at the complex – where the cost of a two-bedroom flat has rocketed to up to £1600 a month – have received notice that their properties are being taken back by lenders who are pursuing action against the landlord.
Three families sought legal advice and appeared in court to request to stay in the properties. But after a sheriff ruled in favour of the banks, the tenants expect to be forced out of their homes later this year, unless the landlord appeals. He didn’t attend court on June 16.
Several tenants of Kent-based landlord Roy Fever confirmed they have now stopped paying rent.
Dad-of-one Lucas said: “We’ve had debt collectors at our door asking for the landlord.
"I stopped paying rent but I’m still banking it. I don’t know if we are doing the right thing. It’s so stressful. The mortgage isn’t being paid so we are still going to lose our home. The agency have taken our rent even after they knew about the debts owed by the landlord. They should have been helping us from the start.”
One tenant who asked not to be named said: “We are now banking rent instead of paying it to the agent, who responded saying that would add to the problem. What else can we do? We want it to go to where it's supposed to go, instead of this rogue landlord getting flush with our money. It’s a nightmare for people knowing they will be chucked out.”
Marc Rendle said: “We have until September to move out. It feels like we’re sitting ducks. We stopped paying rent to the agent because we don’t know where the money is going. I’ve put cash aside for it, after getting advice from Shelter.
“Nobody seems to care about what’s going on. Meanwhile, he’s up for some property award. It’s shameful. A real kick in the teeth.”
Tommy Sheppard MP said: “This is outrageous. The courts should take action against this landlord and freeze his other assets, rather than tenants paying the price. They’ve already paid a fortune in rent and now paying the consequences of his wilful neglect. We must look at tightening protection to prevent this happening to others. To me this should provoke a change in the law.
"Failure to pay a mortgage and fulfil that obligation to ensure a property remains available to a paying tenant has to be made a specific offence. This conduct is egregious. He must accept responsibility.”
Siberite mortgages said their solicitors will negotiate with affected tenants over the next few months.
The landlord was contacted for comment.