Landlord tells residents to hit up food banks if they can't afford to eat after $1700 rent hike
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Furious tenants have lashed out after they were provided with links to food banks when they were hit with a rental increase equating to an extra $AUD 1,700 (£1,000, $US 1,150) per year for their home.
Property management firm Benyon Estate advised the tenants of 371 London properties that their rent would be raised by three per cent.
While three per cent might not sound too bad, when the Hackney residents did their sums it came to an eye-watering extra $AUD1,700 (£1,000, $US 1,150) per year.
To add insult to injury, Benyon Estate is run by conservative politician Lord Richard Benyon who is worth about £130 million ($AUD 221 million, $US 150 million), as per the Sunday Times' Rich List.
Upset tenants who opposed the massive rental increase were advised in an email, as seen by iNews, that 'although the Estate is very sympathetic to the increased cost of living, they will be unable to accommodate your request for a rent reduction at this time' as the increase was justified 'considering the rate of inflation'.
Tenants were then told they would be sent 'a number of links to various services such as food banks etc… should they be of interest'.
The harsh reply from the property managers has been met with criticism, with some taking to social media to express their disbelief.
One user said: "This is why a revolution is needed."
Another added: "There are no words to say how disgusting this is."
However, a spokesperson for Benyon Estate has spoken out to defend the rise in rent.
"With the rate of inflation currently at 10 per cent, we consider the 3 per cent rent increase to be fair and reasonable to cover the increased costs of property maintenance and improvements, which are carried out by our staff and local contractors in Hackney," they said in a statement, as per Newshub.
They also claimed that the links to food banks were 'taken out of context'.
Lord Benyon has previously attracted scorn for his attitudes to housing and food bank services.
In 2014, the Benyon family purchased an estate which offered affordable accommodation for decades for nearly 100 residents.
According to The Guardian, they then massively jacked up prices which prompted outcry from tenants, some of whom had lived on the estate for over 70 years.
Lord Benyon was also roasted in 2013 when he claimed during a Commons debate that families struggling to make ends meet should just stop wasting food.
"Food wasted means fewer pounds in our pocket,” he told Commons back in 2013, as per ITV.
He then suggested people could try 're-closing packs of cheese and meats' to bring household bills down.
Now why didn't we think of preserving food in a fridge?