RESIDENTS who faced the prospect of eviction without notice have been granted a reprieve after a deal was reached between the council and a property company.

More than 30 people living at Knoll House in Ingram Cresent, Hove, including health professionals, a pregnant woman and council workers were set to be made homeless after the city council gave Oaksure Property Services 28 days’ notice to quit. Residents said they had not been served with eviction notices.

The property is due to be demolished next year, but the council had contracted Oaksure to provide "security" in the form of 37 “property guardians” on site.

However, visits to Knoll House by council officers raised “significant concerns” over safe occupation and regulatory compliance, particularly around fire safety.

An email to councillors from Brighton and Hove City Council’s chief executive Geoff Raw, seen by The Argus, said: “Whilst work addressing the fire risk is ongoing, the officer team has been able to lift the threatened termination of the contractual agreement with Oaksure Property Services.

“This is because a temporary ‘waking watch’ arrangement proposed by officers has been put in place by Oaksure on works required to comply with health and safety requirements, pending agreement between the council and Oaksure.

“Subject to the outstanding matters being resolved promptly, it is anticipated that occupation by the guardians can continue until March 2023, when the building will be released for demolition.”

Mr Raw said work to clear fire hazards at Knoll House is ongoing and that guardians have been advised on how the council can help if they require alternative accommodation in the future.

Councillors Robert Nemeth and Garry Peltzer Dunn had called on the council to intervene and grant a reprieve for residents from eviction.

Cllr Nemeth welcomed the news and said: “Cllr Peltzer Dunn and I am absolutely delighted for the residents in what is a fantastic result for all concerned.

“The situation was entirely avoidable, and ultimately we should not have needed to intervene, but the end result here is what is important.

“Knoll House is a lovely little community in the heart of our ward and breaking it up prematurely would have been tragic.”

Oaksure Property Services was contacted for comment.