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Protest Over £2m Landlords Benefits

Thursday, March 20, 2014

GMB Back Wandsworth Protest On Tuesday 25th March Over Huge Housing Benefits To Private Landlords And For End To “Middlemen” In Social Housing

Some £411 billion public funds has been spent on rents so it would be far cheaper to build social houses for rent and stop this money lining the pockets of the already wealthy says GMB.

GMB is supporting a protest by Battersea and Wandsworth TUC on Tuesday 25th March outside Earlsfield Properties a private residential property management company that received at least £2,097,804 in housing benefits in 2012/13. The protest is over such large sum of public money going to private “middlemen” and to secure a fundamental change in policy on funding social housing.

Last month a GMB study on the top twenty company landlords that receive housing benefit direct from councils for tenants renting their properties showed that Earlsfield Properties received from five London councils for 2012/13: Wandsworth £754,298, Merton £725,964, Croydon £414,072, Sutton £116,611 and Kingston upon Thames £86,858. This is a total of £2,097,804 making them the 9th largest private recipient of housing benefit in the UK. See notes to editors for further information on Earlsfield Properties.

The details of the protests are as follows:

From 10.30am on 25th March.

Outside Earlsfield Properties
175 Merton Road

Wandsworth

London SW18 SEF

In Wandsworth there are 7,887 households renting private accommodation and entitled to housing benefit. For 1,431 households or 18.1% of the total it is paid direct to landlords. Housing benefit pay the rent to private landlords for 1.65 m privately owned dwelling in Great Britain.

The top firms receiving large sums in Wandsworth are as follows:

Wandsworth

 

INVESTING SOLUTIONS LTD 

£781,194

EARLSFIELD PROPERTIES LIMITED 

£754,298

THOMAS POCKLINGTON TRUST LTD 

£542,504

COUSINS REALTORS 

£505,894

CARIDON PROPERTY LTD 

£573,387

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

£428,007

ABSLETT PROPERTIES 

£258,688

HOME GROUP LTD 

£308,130

WING UK 

£200,196

DOVER HOUSE LETTINGS 

£198,111

ADULT PLACEMENT SRVC 

£183,436

STATPROP (JERSEY) LTD 

£164,734

HARRINGTON PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LTD 

£164,183

CAPITOL HOMES LTD 

£148,423

BROADWAY 

£143,367

CHELSEA ESTATES LTD 

£138,914

LEGACY PROPERTY SERVICES LTD  

£133,924

SIMPLY LETTING LONDON LTD 

£133,776

A A PROPERTY & CONSTRUCTION SERVICES LTD 

£133,658

TRITECH SERVICES LTD 

£131,904

Set out in notes to editors 2 are some organizations receiving large sums across the UK.

Last year GMB established that of 15,874 dwellings in council blocks in Wandsworth where tenants acquired the leasehold under “right to buy” legislation some 6,180 dwellings are now owned by private landlords who rent them to private tenants. That is nearly 40% of the total sold by the council.

There are 977 private landlords who own more than one of these 6,180 dwellings. One private landlord owns 93, another owns 32, another 15 landlords each own 10 or more and a further 83 landlords each own between 5 and 9 of these dwellings.

One family owning 66 units is the Smiths. The Birkett Smiths own properties across London through the Guernsey incorporated companies Chelsea Estates Ltd and Birkett Estates Ltd. They also have a number of properties registered in their own names: Alexander Birkett Smith, his wife Helena, brother Nicholas and his wife Alexandra. From our searches, Chelsea Estates Ltd own 30. With a related company, Birkett Estates and individuals of these companies, the total owned in Wandsworth is at least 66. Alexander is an ex venture capitalist having worked for Rothschild’s before setting up his residential property business, with his brother, and running two farms near Scarborough which are in receipt of European Farm subsidy payments. The brothers are directors of Daleside Estates Ltd, Smith Street Ltd, Overdale Farms Ltd and Smith Street Estates Ltd. Nicholas is also a director of the Portman Hunt, a Dorset based Hunt, and Daniel Lambert Ltd along with his wife Alexandra.

According to Wandsworth council Chelsea Estates Ltd get more than £138,914 public money.

Seamus McBride, President of BWTUC, said "Whilst ordinary tenants fall victim to the iniquitous bedroom tax, an outrageous third of all the Wandsworth council homes sold under  Right-to-Buy is now in the hands of private landlords and their agents who have become the  beneficiaries of housing benefit.

120 years ago in 1894 John Burns set up BWTUC.  In 1907 as Battersea MP he secured a law to allow councils to build houses for rent so as to cut out the “middlemen.  BWTUC calls on Government and Wandsworth Council to end this scandal now, cut out the private “middlemen” and replace the lost public housing stock in the unaffordable borough!”

Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary, said “GMB is aiming to secure a fundamental change in policy on funding social housing. This is not a new stance by the union and this is why we are supporting this anti middlemen protest.

Mrs Thatcher changed the labour movement traditional policy of spending money on bricks to spending the money on rents. Since then some £411 billion public funds has been spent on rents. It would be far cheaper to build social houses for rent and stop this money lining the pockets of the already wealthy.

John Burn’s 1907 law to allow councils to build houses for rent was reversed in the 1980s. This was a serious policy mistake and the cost to the public purse is now becoming apparent. The growth in "buy to let" empires funded by the policy is heaping additional costs on the Exchequer. The figure may be at least £3 billion per annum and is growing.”

End

Contact: Kieron Merrett on 07866 441656, Paul Maloney on 07801 343839 or GMB Press Office 07921 289 880

Notes to editors:

1 Information on Earlsfield Properties

Earlsfield Properties is a residential property management company and does provide a service to other landlords.

Earlsfield Properties Limited is actually a dissolved company, the two previous directors are Ms Nasreen Obaidullah  and Mr Nasir Obaidullah. The address was 118 Earlsfield Road, London, SW18 3DR.

There was a second Earlsfield Properties incorporated in 2005. The directors of this company were Ms Faiza Sarwar and company secretary was Naveed Sarwar. This company was dissolved in 2009. The address was Grovesnor Suite Justin Plaza Iii, 341 London Road, Mitcham, Surrey, CR4 4BE.

In 2009 a new Limited Liability Partnership was incorporated, Earlsfield Properties LLP. One director from each of the previous companies are now LLP Designated Members, Nasirruddin Obaidullah and Naveed Sarwar. The address is 175 Merton Road, London SW18 5EF. This company has its principal activity as Payroll services to Earlsfield Properties Letting and Management business. There was a notification of strike off action in November 2011 but this was discontinued a month later.

The accounts for the LLP also list an F Obaidullah as a partner. They show that  N Obaidullah has a 20% interest, N Sarwar a 50% interest and F Obaidullah a 30% interest. Mr Naveed Sarwar, according to his company website, an MA in European Real Estate (Immobilia).

The website for Earlsfield Properties (www.earlsfieldproperties.com ) lists a number of ‘satisfied landlords’:

Landlord and area they are from:

Mr. Kiran Patel

West Ewell

Mr. Andrew Michael

Southfields/ Tooting

Mr. Nisar Butt

Southfields / Morden

Mr. Bharat Patel

Earlsfield

Mr. Safi Mahmood

East Hill / Wandsworth

Mr. H. Murray

Southfields

Mr. Girish G. Patel

Tooting

Mr. Permoud Patel

Croydon / Lower Morden

Mr. M. Javed

Clapham

Mr. K. Patel

Bromley

Mr. M. Patel

Cheam Village

Mr. T. Jones

Wandsworth

Mr. Paulo Malveiro

Wandsworth

Mr. M. Belton

Morden

Mr. Kamlesh Patel

Clapham

Mr. S. Ulagenthiran

Tooting/ Mitcham

As Earlsfield Properties is not a Limited company there is no financial information available. The LLP has a credit rating of 56 out of 100 but this is the company that provides payroll services to the lettings and management business.

We have not been able to obtain information from the Land Registry to see how many properties they own as they are not a limited company.

In 2004 Nasir Obaidullah of Earlsfield Properties, 175 Merton Road, Southfields, was fined £200 with costs of £238 for flytipping refuse sacks further along Merton Road.

Nasir Obaidullah is a director of Earlsfield Foundation Ltd, along with Dr Faheem Obaidullah. The foundation is listed as ‘providing medical and health projects, education, housing and relief of poverty for general public as charity’.

A company called Emedicare Ltd, of which Dr Faheem Obaidullah is a director is also registered at the same address, 175 Merton Road.

2.         Some organizations receiving large sums across the country:

·      Jomast Property / John Monk & Co – Over £210,000 in the North East. Owner Stuart Monk equal 554th on the Sunday Times Rich List with wealth estimated at £147m. Developed Hartlepool Marina.

·      Stockton Flats - Over £1.7m in total from councils in North East, North West and North Yorkshire.

·      European Wellcare Lifestyles Ltd  - Part of European Care Group. Parent company Esquire Group Investment (Holdings) Ltd based in the British Virgin Islands as are another 5 companies within the group. 4 other group companies are based           in Guernsey.

·      Grainger Residential Management / PHA Ltd / Grip Nomco 1 & 2 - £1.2m across 16 districts. Part of Grainger PLC with fixed assets of £618m, current assets of £1bn and turnover of £283m. In 2013 own 13,353 units with a market value of           £1.8bn. They manage 8,216 units with market value of £953m.

·      Associated Property Owners Ltd – £89,000. Directors are Lady Diana Errington, Robin Errington, Anne Errington, David Errington, Stuart Errington and William Saville. Directors of the parent company, Associated Property Holdings Ltd,               include Sir Geoffrey Errington (2nd Baronet Errington, of Ness).

·      Northwood - National lettings Agency getting over £2.3m nationally.

·      Blackshaw Holdings – £442,000. Owner, John Brooksbank, on the Sunday Times Rich list with wealth estimated at £100m.

·      Martin & Co - Letting Agents, £3.1m from 20 districts nationally.

·      Chatsworth Trust - £10,000

·      LHT Enterprise - £8,800 from Craven. Michael Bannister, owner of Coniston Hall and the Boundary Mill chain.

·      Mountview Estates Plc - Duncan Sinclair, 901st on Sunday Times rich list worth £87m. £300,000 from 9 districts

·      Buckminster Trust Estate – Sir Lyonel Tollemache donor to the Tory party. Buckminster is a country estate in Leicestershire. £37,000.

·      Compton Estates – Castle Ashby Estate, seat of Lord Northampton, Spencer Compton, 7th Marquess of Northampton. One of Britain’s wealthiest aristocrats, =766th on Sunday Times rich list with estimated wealth of £103m. £21,000.

·      Grimsthorpe & Drummond Castle Trust Ltd – owner of Grimsthorpe Castle is Baroness Jane Willoughby De Eresby, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Ancaster and grand daughter of Nancy Astor. Inherited Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire and              Drummond Castle in Perthshire. £19,000

·      Cecil Estate Family Trust - £17,000

·      Burghley House Pres. Trust Ltd - £9,000

·      Penk Holdings Ltd – Directors Alan and Joanna Monckton of Horsebrook Hall, Stafford (former High Sheriff of Staffordshire) and Piers Monckton of Stretton Hall, Stafford. £12,000

·      ADA Glossop / Glossop Caravans - £1.1m across 15 districts nationally.

·      Marquess of Hertford - £15,000 from Stratford. Henry Seymour’s country estate is Ragley Hall in Warwickshire.

·      Thorney Bay Park Ltd - £1.45m from Castle Point. Donated £3,000 to conservatives in 2001.

·      Cadogan Estates Ltd - Charles G Cadogan, 8th Earl Cadogan, 18th on Sunday Times Rich list (£3,675m) and Tory donor. £116,000

·      Grosvenor Estate Belgravia - Part of Grovenor Group. Fixed assets of £4,272,300,000. Headed by the Duke of Westminster who is in the Sunday Times Rich list as 8th richest person in Britain with wealth estimated at £7.8bn. £243,000

·      Lazari Investments Ltd – Chris Lazari is 101st on the Sunday Times Rich list with wealth estimated at 858m. £200,000

·      Woodlands Estates – Owned by Andrew Charalambous, UKIP housing spokesman. £745,000

·      Caridon Property - £2.6m across 9 London Boroughs

·      Cowdray Estate / Paddockhurst Estate - £118,000. Viscount Cowdray listed on the Sunday Times rich list in =224th place with wealth estimated at £400m. The family firm is the Pearson Media Group and he the family seat is Cowdray Park in         West Sussex.

·      Southwick Estates - £39,000 from Winchester. A 7,000 acre private estate which owns nearly all of the village of Southwick. Owned by the Thistlethwayte family.

·      Englefield Estate / Gerald Palmer Eling Trust – Owned by conservative MP, Richard Benyon. His family are =713th on the Sunday Times rich list with wealth of £110m. He is one of the wealthiest MPs in Parliament. The family seat is Englefield        House and 20,000 acre Estate in Berkshire. £626,000

·      Yattendon Estates - £195,000 from West Berkshire. Lord Robert Iliffe =333rd on the Sunday Times rich list with wealth of £245m. Yattendon is a 9,000 acre estate in West Berkshire

·      Patricroft Investments - £49,000 from Worthing. Company is based in Gibralter.

·      Allsop Residential Investment Management Ltd – one of the partners is Timothy Theakston, one of the Theakston Brewery brothers. £137,000 from Brighton & Hove

·      HRH Estates Company - £349,000 from Medway

·      Sir Richard Sutton’s Settled Estates – Sir Richard Sutton, 9th Baronet, =522nd on the Sunday Times rich list with wealth of £150m. £68,000 from West Berkshire.

·      Blackmoor Estate Ltd - £18,000 from East Hampshire. Owned by the Earl and Countess of Selborne. Earl Selborne is a conservative hereditary peer.

·      Knepp Castle Estate Office - £15,000 from Horsham. A 3,500 acre Estate in West Sussex owned by Sir Charles Burrell, 10th Baronet. Owner of Knepp Castle.

·      Viscount Asquith Estate - £17,000 from Mendip.

·      Morden Estates - £14,000 from Purbeck. Owned by Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, conservative MP for South Dorset. Family seat is Charborough House in Dorset.

·      Powis Castle Estates - £34,000 from Powys. Owned by John Herbert, 8th Earl of Powis

·      Hawarden Estate – Sir Erskine ‘William’ Gladstone, 7th Baronet, owner of Hawarden Castle in Flintshire. £43,000 from Flintshire.

·      Strathmore Estates Holding Ltd - Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, the Queens cousin and owner of Glamis Castle £11,500 from Angus.

·      Moray Estates Development Company - Earl of Moray, owner of Darnaway Castle. £10,000 from Moray.

·      Argyll Estates - £126,000 from Argyll and Bute. 50,000 acre estate including Inveraray Castle, home to Torquhil Campbell, the Duke of Argyll.

·      Wemyss Properties Ltd – Owned by William Wemyss, part of a Scottish business dynasty which includes property, whisky and gin production and energy production. £141,000 from Fife.

·      Haddo Estate - £42,000 from Aberdeenshire. Owned by the Marquess and Marchioness of Aberdeen.

 

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