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Housing Official At Lambeth allegedly 'squatted In My Flat And Trashed It'

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http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23970386-housing-official-at-lambeth-squatted-in-my-flat-and-trashed-it.do

A woman told today of her "10 months of hell" trying to evict squatters after her home was taken over by a council housing officer and her partner.

Naomi Koningen rented out her garden flat during a working trip to New York but when she returned her tenants refused to let her back in.

She claims they owe her £6,000 in unpaid rent and have trashed the property in Streatham by smashing windows, changing locks, and spraying paint on walls, as well as leaving bills unpaid.

Ms Koningen says being locked out of the two-bedroom flat has left her sleeping on friends' sofas, and the unpaid rent means she cannot afford to travel home to Australia to visit her 63-year-old mother, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

She suspects the couple- Lambeth housing officer Venetia Bailey and Ernest Henderson, also a former Lambeth employee - are using their legal expertise and knowledge of squatting laws to drag out the case.

The singer-songwriter said: "It's been 10 months of hell. I have sleepless nights most nights and if I wasn't blonde I'd have a full head of grey hair through the stress.

"They are tenants who went bad and are now squatting in my home. They've trashed my beautiful apartment and some mornings are so difficult that I'm in tears.

"My mum today just came out of hospital and I just want to be back there for the chemotherapy but I can't afford the flight."

Ms Koningen, who is in her thirties, let out the Victorian flat in Angles Road in September. The tenants were supposed to be paying £1,130 a month in rent direct to her after finding the property through agency Townends.

Ms Koningen served the couple an eviction notice in January over the alleged rents arrears and damage. She now intends to pursue the case through the courts. She has also set up a website detailing the dispute, at iwantmyhomeback.tumblr.com

When Ms Bailey was confronted by ITV London Tonight, she claimed Ms Koningen had "reneged on her contractual agreement" by not maintaining the property, specifically the boiler and central heating.

Ms Bailey's daughter, who asked not to be named, said: "There was a lot of damage already there when they moved in. My mother is a respectable woman and certainly didn't trash the place." As well as the boiler and central heating, she claimed there was damage to the kitchen door and the oven was broken, which they replaced at their own expense.

A spokeswoman for Lambeth Living, which manages the council's housing stock, confirmed Ms Bailey works for them and that Mr Henderson is a former employee. She said: "This is a private matter between two individuals. However, we demand the highest standards of our staff." She added that the case was being "thoroughly investigated".

Ms Bailey was due back at work at North Lambeth area housing office in Kennington today. She did not return requests for comment, but told London Tonight they would leave Angles Road in a week.

It comes days after squatters were evicted from a block of 21 Lambeth council flats in Brixton that had been occupied for more than a decade.

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http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23970386-housing-official-at-lambeth-squatted-in-my-flat-and-trashed-it.do

A woman told today of her "10 months of hell" trying to evict squatters after her home was taken over by a council housing officer and her partner.

Naomi Koningen rented out her garden flat during a working trip to New York but when she returned her tenants refused to let her back in.

She claims they owe her £6,000 in unpaid rent and have trashed the property in Streatham by smashing windows, changing locks, and spraying paint on walls, as well as leaving bills unpaid.

Ms Koningen says being locked out of the two-bedroom flat has left her sleeping on friends' sofas, and the unpaid rent means she cannot afford to travel home to Australia to visit her 63-year-old mother, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

She suspects the couple- Lambeth housing officer Venetia Bailey and Ernest Henderson, also a former Lambeth employee - are using their legal expertise and knowledge of squatting laws to drag out the case.

The singer-songwriter said: "It's been 10 months of hell. I have sleepless nights most nights and if I wasn't blonde I'd have a full head of grey hair through the stress.

"They are tenants who went bad and are now squatting in my home. They've trashed my beautiful apartment and some mornings are so difficult that I'm in tears.

"My mum today just came out of hospital and I just want to be back there for the chemotherapy but I can't afford the flight."

Ms Koningen, who is in her thirties, let out the Victorian flat in Angles Road in September. The tenants were supposed to be paying £1,130 a month in rent direct to her after finding the property through agency Townends.

Ms Koningen served the couple an eviction notice in January over the alleged rents arrears and damage. She now intends to pursue the case through the courts. She has also set up a website detailing the dispute, at iwantmyhomeback.tumblr.com

When Ms Bailey was confronted by ITV London Tonight, she claimed Ms Koningen had "reneged on her contractual agreement" by not maintaining the property, specifically the boiler and central heating.

Ms Bailey's daughter, who asked not to be named, said: "There was a lot of damage already there when they moved in. My mother is a respectable woman and certainly didn't trash the place." As well as the boiler and central heating, she claimed there was damage to the kitchen door and the oven was broken, which they replaced at their own expense.

A spokeswoman for Lambeth Living, which manages the council's housing stock, confirmed Ms Bailey works for them and that Mr Henderson is a former employee. She said: "This is a private matter between two individuals. However, we demand the highest standards of our staff." She added that the case was being "thoroughly investigated".

Ms Bailey was due back at work at North Lambeth area housing office in Kennington today. She did not return requests for comment, but told London Tonight they would leave Angles Road in a week.

It comes days after squatters were evicted from a block of 21 Lambeth council flats in Brixton that had been occupied for more than a decade.

Whatever the lady thinks, having a legal tenancy and then: not paying the rent and failing to move out when presented with notice to quite is NOT (in the legal sense) squatting

tim

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She suspects the couple- Lambeth housing officer Venetia Bailey and Ernest Henderson, also a former Lambeth employee - are using their legal expertise and knowledge of squatting laws to drag out the case.

Squatters and tenants are not the same thing. The sooner amateur landlords and the media get this into their thick heads the better for everyone. And it is not the responsibility of the tenant to ensure the landlord has enough money to fly to Australia unless this is a specific clause in the tenancy agreement.

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This jas it all. Amuture btl er who knows **** all and a councill employee. All it needs now is a teacher and a foriegn person and some one on benefits and i have a full house

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This jas it all. Amuture btl er who knows **** all and a councill employee. All it needs now is a teacher and a foriegn person and some one on benefits and i have a full house

True, but I'm very disappointed the overall value of the property was not included in the first sentence.

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This jas it all. Amuture btl er who knows **** all and a councill employee. All it needs now is a teacher and a foriegn person and some one on benefits and i have a full house

Venetia and Ernest! Bring it on.

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This jas it all. Amuture btl er who knows **** all and a councill employee. All it needs now is a teacher and a foriegn person and some one on benefits and i have a full house

she's not a btl er... she rented her own flat out whilst she was away on business and did it through an agency. Remind me again what agencies are actually for?

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Ms Koningen says being locked out of the two-bedroom flat has left her sleeping on friends' sofas, and the unpaid rent means she cannot afford to travel home to Australia to visit her 63-year-old mother

She's been in the US last few months trying to launch and further her music career.

With pics http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23970386-housing-official-at-lambeth-squatted-in-my-flat-and-trashed-it.do

http://www.myintroducer.com/view.asp?ID=7248

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Remind me again what agencies are actually for?

They're for making money.

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I'm getting odd cognitive dissonance from this thread. I'm trying to feel sorry for her and want to be angry at the Council lacky but I find myself repulsed at the thought.

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She is a useless squatter and I am surprised hpc'rs support this loafer. Her contract is expired and she is occupying the place illegally.

Landlords take on commercial risks which they can take steps to mitigate in their choice of tenant.

Also no one is compelled to rent out their home. If I were going away for months I'd be happy enough allowing a close family member to live in my home for 6 months paying me no rent, just to look after the place, with an agreement in place not a tenant. This woman wanted the rent money and there are landlord risks she is claiming naivety about. Tough.

Tenant eviction specialists, Landlord Action, have been called to help a desperate amateur landlady facing possible repossession. Miss Naomi Koningen was forced to rent out her property after it failed to sell in 18 months on the market.
Miss Koningen says:

"One of the two tenants hadn't passed the credit check, but desperate to cover the mortgage, I was naïve and took advice that this could just be down to poor credit rating and they could be trusted."

http://www.myintrodu...iew.asp?ID=7248

Electoral Roll

kon1a.jpg

womanonwall_415.jpg

Streetview link

Nethouse prices have a Flat A and Flat C amongst their transaction records for number 7. So there's probably a flat B too.

Rightmove Rental Flat (let agreed) on that postcode, and it looks like number 7.

http://www.rightmove...ty-7916520.html

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/find.html?searchType=SALE&locationIdentifier=POSTCODE%5E1602763&insId=1&radius=0.0&displayPropertyType=&minBedrooms=&maxBedrooms=&minPrice=&maxPrice=&retirement=&partBuyPartRent=&maxDaysSinceAdded=&includeSSTC=true&_includeSSTC=on&sortByPriceDescending=&primaryDisplayPropertyType=&secondaryDisplayPropertyType=&oldDisplayPropertyType=&oldPrimaryDisplayPropertyType=&newHome=&auction=false' rel="external nofollow">

Rightmove For Sale Flat, on that postcode and again it looks like number 7.

Edited by Venger

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Daily Mail

Ms Koningen, who is in her thirties, let out the Victorian flat in Angles Road in September. The tenants were supposed to be paying £1,130 a month in rent direct to her after finding the property through agency Townends.

And Townends are the agent for that one too.

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-14091111.html

Up for sale since late 2009 on that advert.

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The landlord's webpage story.

http://iwantmyhomeback.tumblr.com/

Her 2 music tracks.

http://www.myspace.com/naomi.koningen

In New York in April, pursuing her music dream. Image in a Twitter link. Try lowering the price of your flat to sell it. If no viewers or active buyers within 18 months on the market, likely to be an asking price problem.

http://twitter.com/naomikoningen

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She is a useless squatter and I am surprised hpc'rs support this loafer. Her contract is expired and she is occupying the place illegally. That's squatting.

mod edit racist remark removed

Technically incorrect. There must be more to this case, as the landlord could go for fast track possession after serving a S21 (if the tenancy agreement has expired). That means tenant out in under two months I'd have thought.

In fact the landlord might have some problems for exposing the tenants to the publicity and they may have some redress under the Administration of Justice provisions. She ought to keep her mouth shut, and deal with the matter privately and professionally.

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The owner herself has commented underneath the article:

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23970386-housing-official-at-lambeth-squatted-in-my-flat-and-trashed-it.do

Hi everyone, I am the owner of this property. Firstly thank you all so much for your support. I just wanted to clear some points about the article. Towends rented it out to them on a 6 month contract, in September 2010. My apartment was beautiful prior to their move in, I do have the photographs. From day one they only ever paid just over half their due rent, claiming that Townends told them they would 'supplement the rest each month'. I still have their emails claiming this crazy statement. I had friends visit them, and when told the oven was not working I personally paid 450 GBP to have a new one replaced, with receipts to prove it. They continued not paying their full rent, so in January I paid for the services of Landlord Action to issue them a Section 8 and Section 21 evection notice, although they ignored this. Their Townends 6 month lease agreement ended on the 20th March 2011, however they refused to leave. On the 22nd March they sent me a text only, to say the boiler was broken. This was 2 days AFTER their lease had expired, and 2 months AFTER they were sent an eviction notice. The boiler is only 2 years old, and still under warranty. They haven't paid a penny for over 3 months and are 6k GBP in arrears. They have broken windows and boarded them up with cardboard, replaced the 3 living room windows with cheap frosted glass, changed the locks, broken my furniture, just to name a few.

- Naomi K, London, 15/07/2011 19:11

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Landlords take on commercial risks which they can take steps to mitigate in their choice of tenant.

Also no one is compelled to rent out their home.

Oh well, that makes it ok then.. In the same way a shop must mitigate thefts we must applaud those that steal from them ?

Utter nonsense. Some peoples sense of morality on this forum is seriously bent out of shape.

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Clearly a problem with law with tenants who don't pay. If it becomes so costly to evicted tenants, the only people who will end up as landlords are the sort of people who won't need to use the law to resolve matters.

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Oh well, that makes it ok then.. In the same way a shop must mitigate thefts we must applaud those that steal from them ?

Utter nonsense. Some peoples sense of morality on this forum is seriously bent out of shape.

The landlord should have had a reserve fund. Or cut the asking price of her flat 18 months ago in order to sell. Waiting for HPC I see too many people now renting out their homes, becoming reluctant landlords, to move to other areas rather than sell. No appetite to lower asking price or sell when prices area 'low'. Sometimes even buying again. Amateur and hardup landlords are risk payment problems from hardup tenants too, and players of the system.

The 'lovely home' the landlord now as a webpage about is a property she was trying to sell. Maybe one of the appliances in the ruined kitchen broke which is why it's now sat outside by the side of the property.

Tenants occasionally suffer unexpected shock of loss of job or paycuts, and find themselves in genuine financial difficulties, where they might not consider paying what they can afford in rent as stealing. Tenant not seeing it as someone else's home but as a commercial letting which it is, when the alternative of just leaving might be homelessness.

There is a process for eviction which usually runs smoothly for landlords unless there have been mistakes made. I'm not supporting not paying your rent, but it's not always stealing if a tenant doesn't pay what is due when it's due.

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, a company specialising in tenant eviction, said: "On instruction in January, we issued Section 21 and Section 8 notice to the tenants. The harsh reality is, that some tenants, and especially in this case, are aware that if they leave a property voluntarily, the council will not re-house them. However, if they are evicted, they may be eligible to be re-housed so the tenant has a vested interest to stay put which, in this case, has left Miss Koningen having to borrow money to avoid repossession."

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This whole story is clearly a load of balls.

It is NOT squatting it is a landlord tenant dispute, of which there are always two sides. I find it very hard to beleive the landlords side here as contrary to popular belief the law is strongly in favour of the landlord in terms of eviction. Apparently the landlord has been trying to get them out since January and the AST term finished in March? A simple, quick and legally compulsary notice would have got them out with 2 months notice, or 2 weeks notice if in enough rent arrears.

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Technically incorrect. There must be more to this case, as the landlord could go for fast track possession after serving a S21 (if the tenancy agreement has expired). That means tenant out in under two months I'd have thought.

Its is correct. She has no contract and has been issued an eviction notice. Therefore living illegally and that's SQUATTING.

No that is rubbish.

You are only there illegally after the LL has obtained a court order for eviction and the date of its expirary has passed. Simply sending a S21 termination notice (which is all that the LL will have done) is not enough.

Edited by tim123

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This whole story is clearly a load of balls.

It is NOT squatting it is a landlord tenant dispute, of which there are always two sides. I find it very hard to beleive the landlords side here as contrary to popular belief the law is strongly in favour of the landlord in terms of eviction. Apparently the landlord has been trying to get them out since January and the AST term finished in March? A simple, quick and legally compulsary notice would have got them out with 2 months notice,

No it wouldn't. It would take 2 months for the S21 to expire and then another 2 to enforce it through the courts.

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Whatever the lady thinks, having a legal tenancy and then: not paying the rent and failing to move out when presented with notice to quite is NOT (in the legal sense) squatting

tim

Exactly. Disingenious article published to garner support for stupid proposal's to stop the productive use of empty buildings as shelter.

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