Issue 46— May 2000
Lucy's eviction threat
In an ominous development for tenants at the top of Juxon Street, Lucy's has served an eviction notice on Kate Fisher at number 63. Lucy's have gradually been upgrading their housing stock, and are now considering numbers 60 to 66. After these renovations they can claim higher rents.
Usually, they carry out these works after tenants have moved out. This time, however, they have given Kate who is an 'assured tenant', and has lived here for six years, until May 18 to agree to leave, or to attend a subsequent court hearing. Lucy's will cite a little-used provision of the Housing Act that can permit landlords to clear their premises to carry out extensive renovations that require an empty house.
Court proceedings will be expensive for both sides, and there is no guarantee that Lucy's will succeed. They say that they are committed to spending money on these properties, but say that they do not have suitable property into which evicted families could be moved. The new block of flats along the canal, Wharf House, for example, is now fully let out.
If Lucy's does succeed, there is every indication that the neighbouring houses are next in line. These include families who have lived here fifteen years or more, and their children have grown up together. All are distressed at the prospect of being forced out.