TMO seizes back control of premises
The battle for control of the Lansbury West estate has taken another twist after its tenant management organisation secured a court order demanding the immediate return of its premises.
Landlord Poplar HARCA shocked tenants and board members of the TMO last week when it seized control of the TMO's offices and told staff they would be transferring to the association's employment (Inside Housing, 20 May).
The move followed the TMO's announcement that it would seek alternative owners for the estate.
But a High Court order gained by the TMO said that Poplar HARCA must return to the TMO the use of the offices and any documents or files that had been seized and that staff, previously told that their employment had been transferred to Poplar HARCA, would remain employees of the TMO.
The long-term future of the TMO still remains in doubt. It has accepted the validity of a notice giving it three months to disband, served by Poplar HARCA last Tuesday. The TMO has the right to appeal against this decision to the association's board.
A further hearing was ordered by the court to decide the medium-term future of the TMO, expected to be scheduled for the middle of June.
The order also laid down a number of requirements on the TMO, including banning the organisation from further publicising its desire to leave Poplar HARCA's control and allowing the landlord to attend board meetings.
The injunction also stated that if the order has caused loss to Poplar HARCA it may be entitled to compensation from the TMO.
A joint statement from the two sides said an agreement had been reached after the hearing. ‘Lansbury West TMO will continue to manage properties on the Lansbury West estate until a court hearing in June 2005,' it said.