Union backs protest against private landlords' housing benefit profits
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Central Government, Finance, Housing
Westminster negotiates lower private rents on former council flats
General union GMB has put its support behind a planned protest outside a private residential property management company that received more than £2 million in housing benefits over 2012/13.
The protest by Battersea and Wandsworth TUC against Earlsfield Properties is driven by a belief that such a "large sum of public money going to private 'middlemen' is wrong".
Last month a GMB study on the top 20 company landlords that receive housing benefit direct from councils for tenants renting their properties showed that for 2012/13 Earlsfield Properties received: £754,298 from Wandsworth, Merton £725,964, Croydon £414,072, Sutton £116,611 and Kingston-upon-Thames £86,858.
The total of £2,097,804 makes the firm the 9th largest private recipient of housing benefit in the UK.
There are 7,887 households in Wandsworth renting private accommodation and that are entitled to housing benefit.
For 1,431 households (18.1% of the total), housing benefit is paid direct to landlords.
Housing benefit is paid out on 1.65m privately-owned dwellings in the UK.
The private landlords profiting the most from housing benefit pay-outs in Wandsworth are:
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
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
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
Last year GMB established that of 15,874 dwellings in council blocks in Wandsworth sold under the right to buy, 6,180 are now owned by private landlords who rent them to private tenants - nearly 40% of the total sold off by the council.