March 10 2014 Latest news:
Chloë Mayer, Senior Reporter
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
TV-loving residents have slammed their housing trust after nearly an entire Hoxton street received a letter telling them they had to remove their satellite dishes within the next few days or face eviction.
Most of the residents of Shepherdess Walk, Hoxton, have had satellite dishes attached to the front of their homes for more than a decade, but social housing organisation Circle 33 wrote to them saying the dishes needed to be removed by Tuesday.
“I got the letter on Saturday,” said resident Tony Emberson, “so that only gave me three days to sort something out. The letter said Hackney Council had told Circle 33 the dishes had to be removed because we live in a listed building.
“I’ve lived here for 16 years and this is the first time I’ve heard anything about that. There was nothing in my tenancy agreement saying that, and I’ve had my satellite for 13 years.”
The 48-year-old administrator said he will be £200 out of pocket because he’ll have to pay a company £50 to have the dish removed, £99 to get cable TV instead, and shell out £50 for Sky because he was unable to cancel the satellite service at such short notice.
“It’s not just the expense, it’s the inconvenience,” he said. “My aerial doesn’t work, so I don’t want there to be a gap while I’m without TV.
“My boyfriend’s in a wheelchair and spends a lot of time in my flat when he visits and I have to go to work. So the TV is very important to us.”
Circle 33’s letter, which was sent out three weeks after the trust received the council’s letter, told residents if they failed to remove the dishes – or relocate them to the back of the property, hidden from public sight – by the deadline, the trust “reserves the right to take tenancy enforcement action which may result in possession proceedings being brought against you”.
But after the Gazette approached Circle 33 on Wednesday, the trust spoke with council bosses and agreed to extend the deadline for residents to remove their satellite dishes.
A spokesman for the trust said: “On receiving the information, Circle 33 wrote to tenants to inform them of the requirement.
“We also immediately approached Hackney Council to seek an extension of the deadline in order to give residents more time to comply.
“We have now received notice that the deadline for the removal of the dishes has now been extended until March 23 and have written to residents to inform them. We are offering residents advice and support to help them through the process.”
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