Dorchester Court in London has witnessed battles between its tenants and owner Heinrich Feldman recently but it’s come to a head during the crisis and residents have now joined a union to demand lower rents.

Tenants at an historic housing estate in London have joined a union to fight their landlords’ development plans and demand rent reductions.

Nearly 100 members of the London Renters Union at Dorchester Court in Herne Hill have written to their landlord Manaquel Ltd demanding rent reductions, no evictions for arrears and essential repairs to their homes.

Many have been hit hard by the crisis, but after Manaquel refused to offer any individual discounts, they decided to join together. Manaquel is owned by the property tycoon Heinrich Feldman, who’s worth more than £200 million.

Since the pandemic, tenants have been told by email that the company can’t afford to write off some of their rent, while they’ve also received letters telling them about plans to build penthouses on top of the existing buildings, which tenants fear may lead to evictions.

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They’ve spent years asking Manaquel to make vital repairs to the blocks in Dorchester Court, citing problems with intermittent hot water and heating outages, as well as mould and vermin.

Parts of the buildings are even propped up with wooden supports. However, since 2015, the landlord has been working on a planning application to add eight town houses and 16 penthouses to the buildings, claiming it needs to make money to pay for the repairs.

The London Renters Union is calling for Manaquel to enter into negotiations to agree a fair deal for their members.

3 COMMENTS

  1. this is all getting out of hand Government backing of Tenants is a nanny state and what a state most tenants leave the properties in there are on percentage terms far more bad Tenants than bad landlords.
    Tenants need to start looking after the housholds they live in stead of being nanied. they learn nothing from constant Gov interference. if they had to look after there own heating carpets white goods etc etc
    it will stand them in better stead when hopfully they can move to their own home. Make them realise what they are getting and force them to grow up. Its not a free world out hear!
    If the Government could do what they demand; WHY why why did they get ride of social housing?

  2. If they don’t like it or the landlord leave that simple really
    Rent strikes are pointless it gives the landlord a reason to evict

  3. If they have repeatedly asked for serious problems to be addressed, then they will have written records. These can be used in legal proceedings to compel compliance by the landlord.

    Toby Madrigal is a freelance writer, journalist and observer who is neither a tenant or a landlord.

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