Croydon Council ‘paying £2k a month’ for empty bungalow

A bungalow which Croydon Council allegedly pays £2,000 a month for has been “empty for seven years”.

A neighbour said the situation is “upsetting and frustrating” as so many people are in need of a home.

Monica McSherry lives next door to the bungalow in The Glade, Shirley.

She claims the last tenants moved out of the property in 2015, but Croydon Council said it has been been vacant since “early 2020”.

The 51-year-old claims the property is leased to the council by a private landlord through the Croylease scheme.

Through this he has continued to be paid £2,000 a month by Croydon Council despite the property being empty, she said.

Since being contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the council said it was “looking into” the property and confirmed it had been empty since 2020.

Ms McSherry said: “The last tenants moved out because there were issues with the sewage.

“The landlord says it is the problem of Croydon Council, I got so frustrated that he is receiving all that money and you’ve got people who are evicted from their homes and need somewhere to live.

“Me and my neighbours have all complained to the council but nothing has been done about it.

“With the financial crisis that we have in Croydon Council, how can they still afford to pay this landlord?”

The neighbour said since it has been empty for so long, the property has deteriorated further and is becoming “a dumping ground”.

Ms McSherry added: “Its upsetting and frustrating that we are living in very desperate times, councils and landlords are evicting tenants due to rent arrears and benefits not increasing to meet rent rises, yet the council continue to pay out extraordinary amounts of money on empty properties.

“It is the council’s failing of not maintaining the property and using it for tenants that urgently need it.”

The aim of the Croylease scheme is so the council can house people on the social housing waiting list.

The council takes on the houses for five years initially which can be renewed and extended to ten.

A Croydon Council spokesperson said: “We want as many homes as possible to be available for Croydon residents who need them and are currently looking into the situation with this property.

“We will be working together with the landlord to make sure any necessary repairs are swiftly carried out.”

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