British property company bans mezuzahs on London building

Following publication of the ban by several media outlets, Warwick Estates retracted the ban and apologized.

A mezuzah (photo credit: PIXABAY)
A mezuzah
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
A property management company in the UK recently instructed Jewish residents of an apartment building to remove their mezuzot from their front doors, saying their use contravenes the terms of the lease.
Following publication of the ban on social media and in several media outlets, including The Jerusalem Post, the Warwick Estates property management company issued a statement apologizing for the ban and retracting it.
Many Jews, observant and non-observant alike, affix mezuzot, small parchment scrolls bearing two handwritten paragraphs from the Torah, in a case on the doors of their homes, including their front doors, as prescribed in the Torah.
Warwick Estates, a property management company operating in London, issued a warning notice to residents of the Cedarwood Court apartment building in the London Borough of Hackney, saying all mezuzot on front doors had to be removed since they breached the terms of the lease.
The notice asked any “offending” residents to remove their mezuzot “immediately,” and that if they were not removed Warwick Estates would have them removed and any costs from such an operation charged to the leaseholder.
Ivana Bartoletti, a privacy and data protection expert living in Cedarwoord Court, posted an image of the warning notice on Twitter, stating that she was “appalled” by the letter.
“Warwick Estates threatening to vandalize my Jewish neighbors’ religious scrolls, and then charge them for it! No tolerance of intolerance and discrimination in Hackney,” she declared.
Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville replied on Twitter that he would be discussing the issue with Warwick Estates on Monday.
“Clearly unacceptable, very insensitive and also distressing for the residents involved,” the mayor tweeted.
Warwick Estates subsequently issued an apology and retraction on Monday, saying that residents of Cedarwood Court were not required to remove their mezuzot and would “certainly not” be removed by the company.
“The letter was sent by the property manager who was attempting to perform his job in line with his interpretation of the lease. The letter was overzealous in its nature and not in keeping with our business values,” wrote the company.
“The property manager in question and Warwick Estates are deeply sorry for any offence we have caused to the residents at the development and indeed the wider Jewish community.
“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.”