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Archive for June 2007

NO ANGELS; EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY GIANT FLOUT LAW OVER LET-OUT CLAUSE RESIDENTS FURY AS FIRM SNAP UP LOW-COST HOMES

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Sunday Mail

ONE of Britain’s biggest property firms is breaking housing laws after snapping up homes built for first-time buyers in one of Scotland’s poorest areas. The houses were built on land gifted by Glasgow City Council specifically for affordable homes. Residents in Germiston are furious The Angel Group – who are paid millions each year by the government to house asylum seekers – are buying up properties to rent, flouting a strict “no letting” rule. But the company insist they are unaware of any clause banning lets in the title deeds and hinted that locals’ complaints could be motivated by racism. The Germiston homes, in the north east of Glasgow, were sold to people who already lived in the area and cost much less than similar properties in other areas. The only rule was that people who bought them were not allowed to rent them out to tenants. Resident Jack Collins said: “These homes were built to provide better housing for people who live in this area. “The council gave the land to the builder for a token sumand the agreement was they would build homes that working folk could afford. The scheme has been a great success. “We have nice houses, everyone keeps their homes and gardens nicely and we look out for one another but the Angel Group are breaking the rules. “They are buying up houses in this street because they are cheap, paying more than locals can afford. “Then they are ignoring the title deeds and putting tenants into them – and they are being paid a fortune by the government to do this. “This must be one of the biggest property scams in the country.” Another resident, Helen O’Hare, said: “This is not about asylum seekers. We have Pakistani and Chinese families in this street and they are as much a part of this community as the white families. “This is about a massive property company breaking the rules.” The Angel Group house hundreds of asylum seekers across Glasgow and thousands more across the rest of the UK. The company started in 1999 housing refugees in Kent and are now the biggest asylum seeker landlord in the UK. Their boss Julia Davey is ranked 17 in the list of Britain’s top 50 businesswomen and is the 15th richest woman in property. The Angel Group have bought three properties in Coll Street, Germiston, for between pounds 100,000 and pounds 120,000 in the last few months and locals believe they are in the process of buying another in a neighbouring street. The company also attempted to buy a fourth property in Coll Street but the deal broke down. Angel claim to be unaware of the “no letting” clause. Spokesman Mervyn Clarke said: “We are taking the matter up with our solicitors but preliminary advice is these claims are not valid. “We are aware many other properties in this area are being rented out by others.  “We urge the Sunday Mail to act with sensitivity in this matter. Sometimes these types of allegations are motivated by undesirable sentiments. “Angel Group are a responsible company who take great care with community relations.”

Written by Concerned

June 3, 2007 at 4:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized