Ex-Metropolitan Police to be evicted from North London home

London is becoming known as one of the most difficult places to find affordable private rented accommodation in the whole of the UK, and with the increase in rent prices and upcoming cap on housing benefits it looks like this is set to continue. Now it has been revealed that even the Metropolitan police are having to give up properties at the end of their lease agreements, even though those living there used to work for the police force and claim they have nowhere else to go.

Up to twenty one families are being forced to leave Connaught House in Muswell Hill, and according to the Leaseholder Crown Housing Association there is no other alternative. One resident, Caroline Gallagher, who worked for the Metropolitan police for twenty six years, said that she is “distraught” at the decision which will “break up a community.” Furthermore, she said: “I was a traffic warden and worked for the Met for 26 years and I got made redundant in December 2011. I feel very let down. First they make me redundant and then they kick me out of my house. Then having to go through the housing process is horrendous.”

Last Monday bailiffs evicted eleven residents from the property, and have stated that the remaining few have up until April 2013 in order to leave. Residents were first informed of the decision back in 2006, however they were not told of the December 2012 deadline until late last year, meaning that many did not have enough time to organise their finances or find another home. Fifty-two year old Tracey Wiskin has lived in Connaught House since April 2012 with her son who suffers from ADHD. She said: “We have been living under a cloud. My son has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and I have a letter from his school saying the move will be detrimental to him.”

However, in a statement the Met police defended their decision and said: “The land had been leased to Crown Housing Association to provide non-permanent accommodation for their own tenants who hold short-term leases. The lease to Crown Housing Association expired in December 2012. We continue to work closely with Crown Housing Association regarding arrangements with current occupiers before we proceed to the market.” There have already been calls for many private landlords and housing associations to provide long-term tenancies in order to prevent situations such as this one, with many landlords now looking to their landlord insurance providers to help them improve their services.

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