Luton Council forced to move tenants after rent hike

Luton Borough Council has been forced to relocate homeless tenants after the units were bought by Stef & Phillips and the charges raised by thousands of pounds.

The local authority’s housing portfolio holder Tom Shaw said the council could no longer afford to house homeless tenants at Millners Court after the new housing provider raised the rent to ‘unreasonable levels’.

According to Shaw tenants would have had to pay an extra £10 per night - an increase totalling an extra £138,700 a year. However, Stef & Philips has denied that figure.

The units are now rented by Barnet Council which uses 41 flats at the site, contributing more than £85,000 per year towards the cost.

In an email sent to the council in October, one Stef & Philips employee also mentioned Milliners Court: "We offered 62 flats to Luton Borough Council. However, they were unable to give us a clear decision despite an extended period of engagement.

"Consequently, we offered these properties to a London borough council."

In a statement, Stef & Philips said properties added: "We regret any distress experienced by current tenants."