At 6am this morning ( 26/08/11) Well Furnished was broken into by about 20 High Court Bailiffs with dogs. They also had support from Police Officers. We were completely unprepared for this. We were told by the court that we had eviction dates for 7th and 24th September.
The baliffs were not too bad and let us recover some of our stuff. However at one point they forced two of the Well Furnished crew through the gate and physically assaulted both of them. The police were unconcerned about the physical harm inflicted on us by the bailiffs.This was despite the fact we put up no resistance and were polite and civil, as we believe we have been throughout our time at Well Furnished since the end of April.
We think it is a very sad state of affairs that the property agents Lamberts and St John Hackney Joint Charities Trust have decided to spend charity money on a very costly eviction process.
The Trust claim they don’t have enough money to renovate their properties, are making their existing tenants responsible for repairs and increasing the rents by up to 300%.
Well Furnished is not the only empty property on Well St and Terrace Rd, half of the Trust’s properties are empty. This is a blight on the street, damaging for existing tenants businesses and a gross injustice for the people of Hackney who are supposed to be benefiting from the income made by renting out properties.
You can find out more about this on the Save Well Street Market Website,
We have always wanted to use the empty properties, Well Furnished and This and That for the benefit for the community as a whole. From the outset we have reached out to our neighbours and many of them have welcomed us, recognising that we have worked tirelessly to make the empty space beautiful and a asset for the community.
We have always tried to contact Lamberts, The Church Trust, The Vicar and Geoff Taylor (local councilor and chairman of the Trust), however they have never answered any of emails or phone calls.
If you liked what we were doing at Well Furnished and feel that Lamberts could have handled this differently, please let them know.