Property-owning couple bought ENTIRE Welsh village and raised rents03/25/2023
Revealed: The jet-setting couple who have bought an ENTIRE village in Wales and raised rents by 60 per cent – as locals facing eviction launch desperate protests to stay in their homes
- Lisa Walsh, 30, and husband Chris, 35, bought Aberllefenni and raised the rents
- READ MORE: Real estate company buys historic Welsh miners’ village of for £1m
A millionaire jet-setting couple who enjoy a life of luxury are forcing an entire village out of the homes they’ve lived in for decades by ramping up the rent by insane amounts.
Landlords Lisa Walsh, 30, and her husband Chris, 35, live a lavish life of travelling across the world, all while they are forcing people from their homes in Aberllefenni, north Wales, with massive rent hikes, MailOnline can reveal.
Mrs Walsh posed for photos outside the five-star Bellagio in Las Vegas in 2019, the luxury hotel and casino featured in Ocean’s 11. Her Facebook cover photo backdrop is a stunning view of the Greek island of Santorini.
The couple are a husband-and-wife team who bought the entire historic Welsh mining village of Aberllefenni for £1million and are forcing out their tenants with huge rent increases of up to 60 per cent.
Mother-of-two Sara Lewis, 55, has lived in her Aberllefenni home for 22 years and said she was in ‘tears’ at the prospect of being left ‘homeless’ by the 26 per cent rent hike.
Jet-setting landlords Lisa Walsh, 30, (pictured) and her husband Chris, 35, live a life of luxury while forcing people out of their homes with massive rent hikes
Jet-setting Lisa Walsh (left outside the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas and left of right), 30, and husband Chris (right of right), 35, enjoy an enviable lifestyle, judging from their social media profiles, with trips to Las Vegas and Santorini in recent years
Sara Lewis (right) fears she will lose her home in Alberllenni. Pictured: Sara Lewis with her friend Janice Taylor.
The Walshes bought the entire village of Alberllenni for £1million in November last year, MailOnline can reveal
Disabled pensioner Brian Kügler, 70, said he has been left with just £3-a-month to live on after the lavish landlord supercouple increased his rent by nearly 60 per cent, from £380 to £595 a month.
He said: ‘My head is all over the place. I can’t afford the rent and don’t have the money to cover it.
‘If I had to pay £595 a month, I would be left with just £3 a month for food, running my car and bills.
‘I am really bl**** angry at the council and the landlord.
‘How can the landlord put the rent up by so much? How can that be right?
‘I love living here. It is my home. I have spent a lot of money redecorating the house and don’t want to move.’
Brian has lived in the cottage with his Cocker Spaniel-Labrador cross, Jake, for 14 years.
The pensioner added: ‘All this has had an impact on my health. I am not very well.
‘I didn’t have a Christmas last year because of all this.
‘Why can’t the council help out with the discretionary payment?
‘I just don’t know what I am going to do.’
Walsh Investment Properties has since reduced Brian’s rent to £550 a month – leaving him with £45.
After the Walshes snapped up the entire village, several tenants were served with Section 21 no fault eviction notices.
Mrs Walsh (pictured) runs the thriving Hannah’s House Day Nursery in Rhyl
Mrs Walsh (pictured) frequently posts adverts on her Facebook timeline for newly-refurbished rental flats and houses in the area and company accounts for the couple’s firm show that they own a string of buy-to-let properties with mortgages
The Walshes have a burgeoning buy-to-let empire advertised on Facebook from their base in Chester, which they set up shortly after they got married in 2017
The rich pair were born and bred in the area and run Walsh Investment Properties, which bought the whole village in Gwynedd, last November
Although the company, which bought all 16 houses in the slate-mining village of Aberllefenni , Gwynedd, just outside Snowdonia National Park, is registered to an address in London, the couple are both Welsh
Like Brian, fellow tenant Sara Lewis also faces eviction and is so enraged she has mounted a daily sit-down protest against the charges for 16 former quarrymen’s houses and cottages in the village which is surrounded by stunningly beautiful scenery.
The mum of two, whose rent has increased from £435 to £550 a month, has also hit out at Gwynedd Council.
She said: ‘My Universal Credit contains £300 for my rent and the council current gives me £49 from its discretionary fund to pay the shortfall.
‘I have applied to Gwynedd Council for the £250 shortfall and received a phone call saying that I won’t be receiving it and will have to find the money myself.
‘I don’t have any savings and cannot work because I have severe emphysema and need oxygen at all times.
‘The council are being heartless and have caused be so much stress that it is making me ill.
‘When I received the phone call, I was in tears. They are making me homeless and do not care.
‘How ill do you have to be to qualify for the discretionary payment? ‘
Sara, who is also a grandmother, added: ‘I am going to sit down and protest on this bench until it is sorted or until I die.
As well as their property empire, Mrs Walsh runs the thriving Hannah’s House Day Nursery in Rhyl and Mr Walsh is boss of building company EMW Developments Ltd
Mrs Walsh (pictured outside her Cheshire home) frequently posts adverts on her Facebook timeline for newly-refurbished rental flats and houses in the area and company accounts for the couple’s firm show that they own a string of buy-to-let properties with mortgages
‘If I end up catching flu or pneumonia, that’s it: I am dead.
‘I don’t want to move from the house I have lived in for 22 years.’
Ms Lewis said her rent has increased by £200 each month after the former quarrymen’s homes were bought.
Ms Lewis added: ‘I would rather die than leave this village. My support network is here, my family is from here. It’s become my haven and I don’t want to live anywhere else.
‘I believe I am going to be made homeless because I cannot get help.’
Ms Lewis continued: ‘My Universal Credit covers £300. The council will not be paying the extra cost. I’ve been told I’ll need to pay it myself with my benefits but I can’t afford £200 extra a month.’
Ms Lewis, who can’t work due to her illness, has applied to Gwynedd council for discretionary funding support.
But she claims she has now been ‘told no’ in terms of receiving any financial help.
She is now staging a one-woman protest on the village bench to highlight her plight – knowing it could make her seriously ill.
She said: ‘I’m sitting on the bench every day because I’d rather make myself ill than live elsewhere. I’m at the end of my tether.
‘In protest I am going to sit outside on the bench every day knowing that doing that will make me extremely ill, but if I am going to be made homeless then I would rather die sooner than later.’
Tenant Janice Taylor, 61, is backing her friend’s protest.
The grandmother said: ‘I am lucky because my husband works full time and I do seasonal work so we can afford the increase.
Aberllefenni in North Wales, where residents say they are being forced out by huge rent increases of up to 60 per cent, is owned by a millionaire husband-and-wife team of local property developers
The couple recently sold their own £360,000 detached house in Trelogan and are believed to have moved to a much more expensive property (pictured) near Chester
Mrs and Mrs Walsh (pictured outside her home) have been forcing residents out of their homes with huge rent increases
Sara said she will continue her one-woman protest on the village bench until the situation is resolved.’
The Walshes have a burgeoning buy-to-let empire advertised on Facebook from their base in Chester, which they set up shortly after they got married in 2017.
The rich pair were born and bred in the area and run Walsh Investment Properties, which bought the whole village in Gwynedd, last November.
Although the company, which bought all 16 houses in the slate-mining village of Aberllefenni, Gwynedd, just outside Snowdonia National Park, is registered to an address in London, the couple are both Welsh.
As well as their property empire, Mrs Walsh runs the thriving Hannah’s House Day Nursery in Rhyl and Mr Walsh is boss of building company EMW Developments Ltd.
Mrs Walsh frequently posts adverts on her Facebook timeline for newly-refurbished rental flats and houses in the area and company accounts for the couple’s firm show that they own a string of buy-to-let properties with mortgages.
The couple recently sold their own £360,000 detached house in Trelogan and are believed to have moved to a much more expensive property near Chester.
Latest company accounts show that Walsh Investment Properties had assets of around £4m in 2022, up from £1.5m the previous year, but profit figures are not available.
All of which will be of little comfort for the residents of Aberllefenni, some of whom are reported to have received eviction notices since the Walsh’s took over ownership of their homes in November and began hiking up the rents.
The village, which was built for workers at a former slate mine, was bought by Walsh Investment Properties after being put up for sale in 2016.
Sara Lewis, 55, fears she is being driven out of her historic country village in Wales
Families revealed they are facing a 60 per cent rise in rent prices following the sale in Aberllefenni near Machynlleth, North Wales
New owner Walsh Investment Properties said ‘it’s fair and reasonable to charge a market rent’ for the homes
Aberllefenni is a historic village, built to house former miners, in Gwynedd, North Wales
The 16 former quarrymen’s houses and cottages in Aberllefenni, Gwynedd, were bought for £1million by Walsh Investment Properties
Aberllefenni community councillor John Pughe Roberts told the BBC: ‘I believe that the intention is to raise the rent so high that the tenants have to move out.
‘Some people who live in the houses are very vulnerable and are going to find it difficult to find the money to pay the difference.
‘Everyone in the village is concerned, some more than others because of the varying amount the rent goes up.’
Tenants have been worried about being able to afford the rent hike, with some facing increases of up to 60 per cent.
The village was previously owned by the family of John Lloyd, of Wincilate Limited, since the 1950s.
The row of nine houses, with additional cottages, were built in the 1700s as accommodation for quarrymen and their families.
The rent rose by 3 per cent per year under the previous owners – some have lived in their homes for more than 20 years.
Chris Walsh told MailOnline that he wanted to reassure the tenants, saying : ‘We have given them all peace of mind that we are going work with them to make them stay in their homes.
‘We don’t want anyone to move out. We have no plans to turn them into holiday lets or sell to them.
‘They have been living in properties where rents are unsustainable and we have raised the rent to a fair amount, which is still massively below market value.
‘Someone could have bought all those properties and evicted them. We do not plan to do that.
‘We have lowered the rents from what was initially proposed by the agent, who used to manage the properties, and now because we in-house manage them, the rents have been reduced down rents off-setting the management fees we were charged.’
Mr Walsh said his company had recently fully refurbished one of the 16 homes and agreed a rent of £750-a-month.
‘We are giving the existing tenants the peace of mind and security for the future at £550 for the same property. We are not bad landlords. The worry was that people would lose their homes.
‘The gentleman who sold the properties to us knew that we wouldn’t sell, we wouldn’t break them up and we would continue to rent them but rents would have to increase.’
A spokesman for Gwynedd council said: ‘We are committed to supporting any individual facing difficulties as a result of the housing crisis. All applications for Discretionary Housing Funding presented to us are assessed by our benefits team as a matter of urgency.
‘Whilst we cannot comment in detail on individual cases, we can confirm that this particular application is currently being assessed.’
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