Today is February 2, Groundhog Day at no less than four BCC Properties visited by a team of housing activists accompanied by The BRISTOLIAN
After an epic High Court case in February last year, which ESTABLISHED TENANT RIGHTS FOR ‘PROPERTY GUARDIANS’ (a precedent-setting case) against empty BCC property-leasing scam landlords CAMELOT, Paul ‘Wolfie’ Smith, Labour’s housing boss, publicly stated he would terminate all property guardian relationships with BCC in ‘due course’.
This was because of the SCANDALOUS STATE of disrepair the tenants were living in, the NIGHTMARE LEGAL CONTRADICTIONS that BCC had been implicated in, and the unbelievable levels of INCOMPETENCE, MALIGNANCE and NEGLECT by both Camelot and also the council’s housing management team of Woods, Hooper et al which had led BCC into this situation.
So imagine the faces on the team of housing activists when, revisiting 4 BCC properties just under one year on from the historic court decision, they discovered these sub-standard, dangerous properties STILL OCCUPIED EXACTLY AS BEFORE. Sstill in disrepair and STILL WITH NO HMO LICENSES (houses of multiple occupation require rigorous safety standard licensing), and also with the tenants therein STILL PAYING SLUM LANDLORDS CAMELOT BOGUS ‘RENT’ AT BCC PROPERTIES! Not only that, but the team discovered employment agency, MERIDIAN, STILL SUB-LETTING FROM CAMELOT many months on AFTER they were exposed in both The BRISTOLIAN and The Nazi Post for their employment/rent scam and poor treatment of employees on BCC premises. Once again, these CAPITALIST CUNTS were found to be still DOCKING WAGES DIRECTLY from their workers on the premises to pay this spurious double-rent!
We estimate that there may be 150+ PEOPLE STILL LIVING in unsafe conditions on ‘Property Guardian’ run BCC properties in Bristol, most paying rent to these FRAUDSTER middlemen who’ve taken them over.
Yes, it’s Feb 2, and Groundhog Day for Bristol City Council! SO WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON, WOLFIE, 1 FULL YEAR ON? We demand that you make a new public statement.
At The BRISTOLIAN we demand:
- That Bristol City Council FORCE Camelot and Ad Hoc to IMMEDIATELY CONFORM to the HMO license regulations at its properties that it is still leasing.
- That BCC RECOGNISE ALL who are still living on these properties as DE FACTO COUNCIL TENANTS, following the decision in the Roynon v Camelot case of Feb 20 2017. This farce has gone on much too long to make anything else acceptable.
- That BCC no longer pursues such OUTSOURCED SCAMS under dodgy ‘licenses/tenancies’ with private companies, whether these are ‘property guardian companies’, ‘homeless charities’, ‘affordable homes builders/property agents’ or anyone else, and instead EMBARKS UPON A CAMPAIGN OF ESTABLISHING EMERGENCY SOCIAL HOUSING UNDER DIRECT BCC CONTROL.
- * We encourage all tenants of either Camelot or Ad Hoc to contact BCC’s Tenancy Relations to enquire into their rights and the legal precedent; to contact BCC’s Housing Environmental Health about their living conditions and the building’s HMO requirements, and to legally withhold rent until these repairs are carried out. Eviction notices given to you by Camelot or Ad Hoc should always be submitted to prior scrutiny by Tenancy Relations or the Avon Law Centre as to their legal validity.
Clearly a slow news day
All the properties conform to HMO standards
The use of commercial property guardians is being phased out and we are not entering into any new contracts with them. For example Broomhill EPH has been demolished and 13 council homes are being built there.
The residents of these schemes are not council tenants and those living in them can not jump the waiting list over homeless people, women escaping domestic violence, families in temporary accommodation and other people in priority need. Of course any of the residents who have lived in Bristol for more than two years can apply to join Home choice.
I have been lobbied by many guardian residents worried that your campaign means they will be moved out before the buildings are being brought back into use.
“All the properties conform to HMO standards”
This is lies and well you know it, Wolfie. You been round them recently? They’re exactly the same. Camelot have done ZERO to them. Nor have you. Meridian still docking wages for rent on council property on top of Camelot’s cut. By rights, people who’ve been shafted by over-paid council employees working in cahoots with outsourced landleech gangsters should get treated as council tenants for all the shit they’ve had to endure on council property. Why didn’t you fire the wankers who hired Camelot and Ad Hoc? Why’d you give them all golden handshakes, and glowing references for careers in the private sector? Or tickets to fuck up somewhere else for loads more public money? You could make savings galore by firing ALL the council managers, let workers do their jobs themselves, and spend the saved cash on social housing. You could also start requisitioning empty private property. But no, because YOU HAVEN’T GOT THE BALLS. And you had the cheek to turn up at Steve Norman’s funeral! You fucking hypocrite.
Then you blame The Bristolian for your fuck ups and cover ups? Patronising asshole
To Paul Smith
You bravely state that all the properties conform to HMO standards. It is your responsibility to produce the documents to prove this.
The proof a property “conforms to HMO standards” is an HMO licence. Slow news or not, these properties have no HMO licence. Why is Camelot allowed by the council to operate unlawfully?
I think Paul Smith must produce the HMO licences to back up his claim that “all the properties conform to HMO standards” as soon as possible. This is a major Health and Safety issue.
The worst thing about this whole Property Guardian scandal is the way that the ‘tenants’ are threatened by both sides. Camelot and other PG companies take rent from them whilst they live in sub-standard and sometimes dangerous conditions, which are often illegal (see HMOs etc above). The PG companies set their ‘licences’ up so that the tenants are constantly under threat of being fined or evicted if they break any of the ridiculous rules (see https://thebristolian.net/2017/02/27/property-management-companies-my-arse-slum-landlords-more-like/) and they are already under gagging orders, so they can’t speak to the media. The City Council will not give them any protection as tenants or rights to social housing, so they are between a rock and a hard place. It is not a surprise that some tenants have asked for BCC to keep the PG contracts, else they will be evicted and made homeless. Paul Smith knows this and it was predictable that he would blame housing activists and The Bristolian for either making the tenants homeless or holding up the building of social housing. Which is nonsense, because it is Camelot and BCC which are going to make them homeless. The Bristolian has argued all along that these tenants in Council properties have rights and should not be hung out to dry by Camelot or BCC. And its not just happening in Bristol, take a look at what Camelot are up to last Wednesday: http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/15923693.27_residents_to_be_kicked_out_after_bosses_issue_eviction_notice/
Lets hope its not a fire and deaths in a PG company administered building that does not meet the legal requirements for tenants which brings this to national attention. After all that could never happen in ‘legal’ Council run properties could it?
To Paul Smith
As you have not responded to my previous request regarding HMOs, can you give me an assurance that you will personally deal with all Health and Safety issues on these properties?