When my Dad died last September, I immediately applied to the council to succeed the tenancy. Dad had always told me that my name was on the agreement and that I would be allowed to stay here automatically.
Today the council have told me that I must vacate the premises, where I have lived for 23 years, within 3 months.
The reason? Under-occupancy. It seems that a two bedroomed house is too big for two people to live in.
They have told me that I must move into a one bedroom property, and they will only make one offer. If I reject it, that's it, no more offers and I'm off their list and homeless.
During all this time they have refused to allow me to pay any rent, their reason being that if they accepted it then they would be seen as having agreed for me to stay. I now have to pay the arrears which are now around £2,000. Good job I've been putting it aside each week.
We've been council tenants for over 50 years, never been in arrears before and always kept our homes in good order.
For the past few years I've been my fathers carer, and before that my mothers, until she passed away 14 years ago.
It seems that all of this counts for nothing.
An uncertain time ahead for me and Beryl.
Old Peculier 6th Feb 2010
Thank you all for your support.
Just to put the record straight, Beryl and I aren't married, we just live together.
I have checked out the council website (Waltham Forest), and their rules clearly state that two adults with no children are only entitled to a one bedroom property.
I have also checked their property section, there are at present only two available properties, both bungalows, one is about half a mile from here in a road I would most definitely NOT like to live on , guess where the other one is?
Billericay in Essex! That would mean a 50 mile round trip commute to work every day. Now I wouldn't mind getting out of London, in fact we drove there today to check out the road (they don't provide a house number on their guide), it seems quite a nice area and most of the buildings are fairly new with off road parking, so quite desirable. However there were also a couple of run down buildings - I'll bet it's one of those!
In the meantime I will be seeking legal advice and pestering the council about the unfairness of their decision.
Old Peculier 22nd Feb 2010
Got the official letter on Saturday, phoned the housing officer this morning.
There is no way they are going to let us stay here "I've made my decision and it's final". There is no appeal procedure, she was totally unsympathetic to our circumstances.
So that's it, we'll be gone inside 3 months.
Thank you all for your support.
Old Peculier 24th Feb 2010
Just to clarify, they have granted me succession of tenancy, but they are demanding that I move to a smaller property.
I phoned a solicitor yesterday, left a message on his phone, they haven't rung back yet, so I've just left another message.
Old Peculier 24 Feb 2010
The solicitor phoned me at work today, I explained the situation and he's not hopeful of helping me - "cases like this are notoriously hard to get a favourable decision against the council."
He did agree to give me an appointment, but it will cost me £200 an hour plus VAT.
I will now try to get a cheaper solicitor, hopefully one with a more positive attitude.
Old Peculier 27th Feb 2010
I shall be contacting other local solicitors on Monday morning, hoping to find one to take on the case.
All this worry is starting to affect our health, Beryl has been in tears, and I've not been sleeping at all well since this all began. I keep waking up in the early hours and my mind is so active straight away that I can't get back to sleep. Not good.
I have a slight heart problem, I phoned my doctor last week but he can't see me until March 9th! I'm hoping that might be another avenue to explore.