Former Ambassador Takes up Residence

Craig Murray gets his home near Ealing Common after all

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Ealing Council


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Ealing will be having a new and distinguished resident after all now that Craig Murray has managed to secure his home in the area.

The UK's outspoken former ambassador to Uzbekistan had previously claimed that Ealing Council were 'radically distorting the market, to the detriment of private renters'. He was told by a landlord that a home near Ealing Common he wished to move to with his young family had been taken by the Council at a much higher rent.

Since then Mr Murray has been told that the landlord has 'changed their mind and decided to let me have the house after all'.

In his blog, he spoke of his dismay at being beaten to a house by an offer over and above what the landlord had been asking.

"I don't want to buy in a still falling market, so I was looking to rent again. More space means moving further out, so we were looking at a nice house at Ealing Common.

"The house had three bedrooms and was for rent at £2,300 per month. The rental market is also falling - not plummeting like the purchase market, but floating gently downwards. So we offered £2,100 and agreement seemed very close. Then Ealing Council stepped in and offered the owner £2,700 per month to take it for social housing. "

Ealing Council had cast doubt on Mr Murray's version of events saying that they had no record of a property of this kind being rented in the area recently under its private sector leasing scheme. They also said that the government's Local Housing Allowance scheme for people claiming housing benefit would not pay this much for a property in this area.

The Council hit the headlines last October after it emerged they had agreed to house an Afghani family there at a cost of £12,458 a month which, according to one local estate agent, was more than three times what a private tenant could expect to pay in the current financial climate.


January 23, 2009