Looks like yet another Green Party councillor’s PUBLIC pronouncements on housing don’t quite match his PRIVATE arrangements.
An irate ACORN tenants union member calls to tell us that the Green Party Councillor for Southville, Bristol Pound bigwig and er, ACORN tenants union member Stephen “Daddy” Clarke, has EVICTED a tenant from one of his numerous local buy-to-let investments after the tenant told him that his rent increase of 28 per cent was unaffordable!
The evicted tenant had been sharing with Daddy Clarke’s daughter, Katie “Snowflake” Finnegan-Clarke, a self-styled ‘SOCIAL JUSTICE CONSULTANT‘ who’s main contribution to progressive causes is ‘being around when the media arrive’ we’re told. Snowflake originally advertised daddy’s house as “LOW RENT in line with local housing allowance so people on a low income can afford to live here.”
At £292 per month plus £60 towards bills, the idea seemed to be about building a stable and secure home for people on low incomes. However towards the end of the tenant’s six month contract they received an email from Ms Finnegan-Clarke advising them of CHANGES to the rent.
Snowflake explained that daddy wanted to INCREASE the rent so each room was rented at the same price as THE REST of his properties in Bedminster and Totterdown. This would be £382 every four weeks. Snowflake claimed she had been trying to negotiate with daddy but “without a huge amount of luck”. So the rent would be increasing to £375 a month (excluding bills) from 27 June. “In-line with comparable properties in Easton,” she claimed.
When asked why the rent was being increased, Snowflake explained that daddy, who bought the property on a buy-to-let mortgage, was affected by changes in tax law to TOP RATE taxpaying landlords. This meant the poor dear could no longer put his mortgage repayments against his business expenses and Daddy didn’t want to ‘LOSE MONEY‘ … On a property which had only gone up £100,000 since he purchased it five years ago!
The tenant complained that the rent rise was not something they could AFFORD and Ms Finnegan-Clarke told them to negotiate directly with Daddy Clarke. However, the following Monday an email arrived from Snowflake.
“As I labored to make clear in the room advert, in our initial skype interview and during our face-to-face interview, the lodgers agreement was only supposed to last six months in order to give us (and now me) the flexibility required and was reflected in the LOW RENT.
“The HOUSE DYNAMICS haven’t been working for me, and you do not seem happy in the house either, so I would like to formally end the extended lodgers agreement. Please accept this email as WRITTEN NOTICE of the end of your Lodger Agreement at Hinton Road, Bristol.”
And with that Clarke and his social justice warrior daughter – who does lots of ‘work’ to raise awareness about issues of gender and race – evicted the tenant because the “house dynamics” were wrong.