Company apologises to Jewish residents for telling them to take down their mezuzot

Warwick Estates says 'overzealous' letter was 'not in keeping with our business values'


A management company has apologised to its Jewish residents for threatening to take their mezuzot down if they did not remove it themselves.

Warwick Estates said on Monday it was sorry for the "overzealous" letter to residents of Cedarwood Court, near Stamford Hill, which said hanging mezuzot on front doors breached the terms of the residents' leases and they could be billed if they did not take them down.

The letter was sent last week, saying hanging objects outside their homes was against the terms of their leases. It specifically singled out the mezuzah, the rolled-up scroll of parchment Jewish families customarily hang on their front doors.

One residentsaid she had never seen anyone complain about the mezuzot in 10 years living in the area and the mayor of Hackney said he would intervene.

On Monday, the company backtracked, a day after the JC reported the letter and the anger it had caused locally. 

"We apologise for the letter sent to some of our customers asking them to remove religious items from their property, specifically their Mezuzahs," a company spokesperson told the JC.

"The letter was overzealous in its nature and not in keeping with our business values... We wish to make it very clear that residents of the block in question are not required to remove their Mezuzahs and they will certainly not be removed by Warwick Estates or any representatives working on our behalf.

Warwick Estates said the letter was sent "by the property manager who was attempting to perform his job in line with his interpretation of the lease".

They added the company was "deeply sorry for any offence we have caused to the residents at the development and indeed the wider Jewish community".

The spokesperson said: "We thank the members of the Jewish community for bringing the matter to our attention and we will ensure that appropriate training takes place so mistakes such as this do not reoccur again."

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