The Westminster Scandal: Tenants 'offered bribes to quit': The Residents
Friday 14 January 1994
Holcroft Court, a block of 246 flats, is in Cavendish ward - one of the marginal 'battle zones'. Residents of the estate in Great Titchfield Street said discounts of up to pounds 50,000 were offered on flats and pressure tactics were used to secure rented properties.
Ron Harley, 30, bought his flat for about pounds 40,000 in 1989, having lived there since the block was built in 1971. He said he received the maximum pounds 50,000 discount.
Mr Harley, a Camden council official and Labour supporter, alleged that the council had offered 'bribes' to persuade tenants to quit their homes. 'The council had a scheme whereby they offered tenants substantial amounts of money, something like pounds 15,000, simply to get them to move and free up their flats.'
Anne Thomas, 57, who bought her four-bedroom flat for pounds 32,000 in 1988, said she knew of 'bribes' of about pounds 15,000 offered to tenants.
She claimed pensioners were put under pressure to move out of their flats to sheltered housing units. 'They have tried to get a lot of pensioners out. Letters would arrive from the housing department asking them to discuss moving to sheltered accommodation, even when they had not expressed any wish to do so. We knew of one lady who suffered quite a lot of harassment.'
Mrs Thomas had also lived in the block since 1971, and was given a pounds 35,000 discount on her flat.
Another former tenant, who said she bought her flat for pounds 25,000, said many new owners had run into trouble trying to afford maintenance bills. Residents paid a service charge of pounds 2,000 a year, which included heating, but there had been additional bills of up to pounds 1,000.
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Kim Jong-un proves 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...