Last month we reported on a campaign to stop the Guinness Partnership evicting Brixton resident Betiel Mahari after her rent was increased from £109 per week to £265 per week for a two-bedroom flat.
A petition supporting Beti was signed by over 1,100 people, and today the case went to the Lambeth County Court, with the judge throwing out Guinness Partnership’s case, and telling them to pay Beti’s court costs.
Campaigner Simon Elmer was at the court:
The Guinness Partnership’s case was thrown out of court this morning by the Lambeth County Court judge, who told them to pay Beti’s court costs. It turns out that, despite insisting that the court hearing was only to formalise Beti’s repayments, Guinness hadn’t even bothered to get their own paperwork in order.
This piece of information was spotted by Beti’s lawyer, Grace Bovill of Wainwright & Cummins, whom we recommend to any tenant facing eviction for an unaffordable rent.
Which means all the stress and anxiety Guinness put Beti and her two boys through these past months, right up to the moment this morning when she didn’t know whether she would be evicted from her home, has been for nothing. Proof, if further proof were needed, that there’s no Trust in the Guinness Partnership.
But this isn’t the end. The Campaign for Beti continues. We will continue to demand that the repossession order on her home is dismissed, and that Guinness reduces her unaffordable rent to one she can afford. They can do this within the definition of affordable rent as anything up to 80 per cent of market rate, and it’s up to us to make sure they do.
But today, comrades, was a victory that will let predatory social landlords know the tenants they despise are not alone, and that we will stand shoulder to shoulder to defend our communities against social cleansing.
Many thanks to the many people who supported Beti this morning and throughout this campaign. Please continue to support Beti’s campaign to have her rent, and the rent of every social housing tenant, kept to a level they can afford.
— Sophia Akram (@mssophiaakram) March 7, 2017
Read the full background to the Guinness trust here: Brixton evictions and regeneration – the story of the Guinness Trust Estate in Loughborough Park, Brixton
[Top photo (c) Michael J Keane, others by Gramsci]