Peabody threatens to evict 450 in Hackney Wick – by accident

'Without predjudice' [sic]: The Peabody letter

'Without predjudice' [sic]: The Peabody letter - Credit: Archant

A housing association mistakenly threatened 450 innocent neighbours with eviction over claims they were being too noisy – after causing them 18 months of misery with its own loud building works.

Furious residents of the Hackney Wick streets targeted by the correspondence met Peabody bosses on Friday to demand an apology.

The bizarre mix-up also saw neighbours accused over “items being thrown from windows to gardens”, DIY tools being used after hours, and even “harassment”.

Peabody has admitted it made an error in distributing the letters, which went “without predjudice” [sic] to a number of pensioners in and around Gore Road – as well as homeowners who have nothing to do with the housing association at all.

Householders say no one has actually said sorry over the gaffe. Peabody insists it will write to them to apologise, but letters received so far simply refer to the error as a “misunderstanding”, further angering neighbours.

One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Gazette she had been left “worried, hurt and stressed” by the letter until she realised it could not possibly have been intended for her as she doesn’t have a TV and is usually in bed by 9pm. “I still cannot believe not a single one of them can simply say ‘sorry’,” she said. “It’s not as if they don’t know by now that they’ve made a massive mistake. The incident is particularly offensive to me because I recently suffered 18 months of continual noise nuisance from renovation works commissioned by Peabody.”

The letters, headed “notice of intent” in capital letters, go on to threaten in bold type: “You may be putting your tenancy at risk by allowing these acts to continue.”

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A Peabody spokesman said: “We are grateful to Victoria Park residents for bringing this administrative error to our attention. The letter was issued incorrectly and we are taking steps to ensure that this does not happen again.

“We have written again to residents to apologise for any distress caused.”