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Letting agent rejects government cash offer after business collapses

Leeford Hammond says £40k isn't enough after his lettings agency was ruined when the 65-year-old became caught up in the Windrush scandal.

Nigel Lewis

windrush letting agent

A property manager and letting agent in North London who was forced to close his 12-year-old business after being prevented from re-entering the UK after a holiday in Jamaica has criticised the £40,000 offered to him as compensation.

Leeford Hammond, 65, came to the UK in 1971 with his two brothers to join the rest of him family who had arrived during the 1960s.

But, after returning to Jamaica in 2017 for a holiday, UK immigration authorities refused him re-entry and his lettings business collapsed as he fought his case from the Caribbean.

This is despite Hammond having now been given indefinite leave to remain in the UK and a 40 year track record working and living here.

Hammond was caught up in the ‘hostile environment’ introduced by Theresa May in 2013 and that inadvertently caused the ‘Windrush scandal’.

Letting agent

Although Leeford was later given a visa to re-enter the UK, by the time he returned he was unable to revive his property business called Lees Lettings based in Archway, North London.

He had also fallen behind in rent and later had to sell all his equipment and assets in order to survive.

Hammond has rejected the cash offer from the government, claiming it does not reflect his circumstances and that the whole claims process is taking too long – it is now two years since he returned from Jamaica.

“The Home office keeps making low offers and they are being rejected and then we have to wait again,” he told The Voice.

“We need someone to take over who can get things right the first time.”

Pics: Google/Leeford Hammond.

May 10, 2021

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