Sheffield group told to start paying rent after 24 years free accommodation

Woodthorpe TARA has been told to start paying rent after 24 years. Image: Google Maps
Woodthorpe TARA has been told to start paying rent after 24 years. Image: Google Maps
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A Sheffield community group has been told it must start paying rent again after getting more than £100,000 of free accommodation.

Sheffield Council has decided to start charging Woodthorpe Tenants and Residents Association an annual rental charge of £4,320 from next year - for the first time since 1992.

According to Sheffield Council, a decision was made in November 1992 to let Woodthorpe TARA use a council-owned building rent-free for the 'foreseeable future'. The council was responsible for repairs and upkeep for the building too.

But in 2007, the Woodthorpe estate was transferred to ACIS housing association, meaning that the Council was no longer landlord and Woodthorpe TARA ceased to be eligible for a concessionary letting.

A council document stated that the decision should have been reviewed in 2007.

But as thIS did not happen, the group continued to get free rent on the premises, adding up to £39,420.

Janet Sharpe, director of housing and neighbourhoods at the council, said: “The council is not responsible for funding the Woodthorpe TARA as this responsibility transferred to ACIS Housing Association when the housing in the area was transferred to them.

"Unfortunately we’re not able to provide free accommodation to all community groups in the city.”

Nobody at Woodthorpe TARA was available to comment.