TODAY, 25th SEPT, the court ruled NOT to grant Spirit more time to pay off the remaining money he owes his landlords.
Bailiffs are authorized to come and EVICT Spirit from his shop and home AS OF TODAY!
This is despite the fact that Spirit is up to date with his current rent and in addition has paid off over £28,000 since October 2005. This is the sum total of all his existing rent arrears.
The remaining amount, which forms the basis of the landlord’s successful application for a bailiffs eviction warrant, is a far lesser amount equaling the landlord’s legal costs, resulting from Spirit contesting the 2005 possession order in his fight for his shop and home, prior to receiving legal aid for his case.
Today’s ruling did not take into account that Spirits rent arrears and associated court costs were incurred as a result of Spirit’s landlord increasing his rent by over 700% after acquiring the building from Hackney Council and that the circumstances surrounding the sale are still disputed.
SPIRIT VS. HACKNEY COUNCIL
Spirit is taking Hackney Council to court over the sale of his premises hours AFTER SPIRIT HAD ALREADY PUT DOWN A CHEQUE DEPOSIT for the building.*
Spirit has now been granted legal aid to bring this case.
The Council has filed a Defence denying his claim and if no out-of-court settlement is reached, the case will be heard by a court in several months time.
We hope that the judge will find that Hackney Council sold Spirit’s property unlawfully.
It is disgraceful that Spirit is about to be thrown out of his shop and home! We need to let Hackney Council know that we will not allow this to happen.
Over the coming days we will be protesting outside Spirit’s shop and handing out leaflets and collecting donations on Saturday’s market.
We are also in the process of setting up a new mailing list/website to extend our our campaign network, and redouble our efforts to win justice for Spirit.
We will be organizing another fundraising party and a public meeting very soon!
* Spirit has been living and working at the premises at 71 Broadway Market since 1993.
When he first rented the building from Hackney council it was derelict and Spirit has invested £52,500 of his own money and six year of his own labour to turn it into a thriving business, selling fresh food and fish at affordable prices.
When Hackney Council auctioned off many of its commercial properties in 2000-2003 it should have given Spirit, the long-term lease holder first option to buy his property. At the time Spirit made it clear to all parties involved with the sales that he was determined to buy 71 Broadway Market.
Spirit went to the Council’s auctioneers on the morning of the auction and signed a document that he believed was a contract of sale. He handed over a cheque for £10,000 as a deposit to buy the property for £100,000.
Just hours later the Council’s auctioneers sold the building to an offshore investment company based in the Bahamas for £85,000 – £15,000 LESS than what Spirit had offered to pay for it!
Six days later the auctioneers, Nelson Bakewell, returned Spirit’s cheque to him without explanation. Hackney Council has never been able to explain why this happened.