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London ALMO offers landlords cash reward for finding MP a home

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London ALMO offers landlords cash reward for finding MP a home

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Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government

London ALMO offers landlords cash reward for finding MP a home London ALMO offers landlords cash reward for finding MP a home

A London-based ALMO managing social homes on behalf of Westminster City Council is offering landlords a £150 reward for finding a flat for an MP.

The move has been attacked by Labour councillors in the borough who have questioned the priority of the social landlord arguing that it should be “building more social housing for Westminster's low income families and not looking for expensive homes for homeless Members of Parliament”.

The appeal has come from the ALMO’s private lettings arm – set up in 2009 to let properties in Westminster within the private sector to "professional tenants, companies and students".

It has previously been attacked by Labour councillors for marketing ex-council homes for more than £450,000 and advertising them for rent at three times the level they would have been had they remained under local authority control. 

The appeal has been circulated on behalf of the un-named MP who is described by CityWest as a “sought after tenant”.

The appeal reads:

“Do you know of an available flat? We have a MP looking with for a flat with us - £150 reward!

Dear


We have a MP (Member of Parliament) looking for a flat with us. The flat must be under £335 per week, have central heating and be within 20 minutes walk of the Houses of Parliament. Is your flat becoming available this year? Are you interested in letting to this tenant? Or do you know of an available property? If we let a property to this sought after tenant, because of your recommendation we will reward you with £150!*”

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of the Labour Group, said: "City West Homes should be building more social housing for Westminster's low income families and not looking for expensive homes for homeless Members of Parliament. Westminster describes the MP as a "sought after tenant", which reveals more about Westminster's housing priorities than it does about the identity of the MP. Westminster Council's priorities are totally wrong and helping to force up rents in the West End way beyond the reach of ordinary families."

Petros Christen, director of finance at CityWest, said: “This advert was placed by a private lettings agency owned by CityWest Homes – it is unconnected with the social housing part of the business. While CityWest Homes Residential is a private management company, it is worth pointing out that the money it makes contributes to keeping overheads low at CityWest itself.
 
“In this case, a cash incentive to find a specific property for a particular client was better value for money than placing an advert.”

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