Man facing eviction fears 'absolute disaster' despite council help
- Credit: Archant Library
A man with mental health issues says he is facing "an absolute disaster" after being told his landlord is selling up and he has to leave.
Brendon (not his real name) claims that East Cambridgeshire District Council’s only remedy is a hotel room in Essex.
Last October Brendon, 22, was given a section 21 notice by his private landlord to leave his home in Littleport.
A section 21 is the first step towards eviction but a tenant may challenge this through the court to enable to stay longer in their home.
“The landlord wants to sell the property and I have until July 5 to leave,” he said.
Brendon, who moved to the house in September 2020, was told to leave 13 months later before he was notified that a possession order would be made earlier this year.
He claims that his landlord did not give a reason for giving the eviction notice until a possession order was later issued in court.
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Brendon was given 56 days to find a new home and contacted East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) for support.
But so far, it has been difficult to find a solution.
“The only thing ECDC offered me was a hotel room in Harlow, which my mental health worker said was not appropriate,” he said.
“I want them to help a vulnerable adult like me; it’s stress you don’t need.
“I have nowhere else to go and have severe mental health issues and autism; it’s making my life a living hell.”
A letter from Brendon’s GP to ECDC states that he would prefer a “two-bed property so that he can have someone to stay to help care for him when his seizures and mental health are bad”.
The letter adds that he would not be suitable for a flat or shared entrance “due to his volatile nature”.
Brendon was disappointed by ECDC’s response.
“ECDC said the letter from my doctor is unrealistic and unsuitable,” he said.
“On July 5, nothing will happen but bailiffs could apply to repossess the property.”
As well as the council, Brendon has received help from his social worker and as his mum, who cared for him until he was 15.
She is concerned that the council is reluctant to step in and find a more suitable place to stay.
“This is a tragedy in the making as he could end up on the street,” she said.
“ECDC have been reluctant to find him a home but told him to register with Home-Link and they will pay the rent for a certain amount of time.”
She added: “I’ve fought for him for a long time and I’m really tired now.
“We’re still his mum and dad and we don’t want to see him homeless.”
The council was unable to comment on Brendon’s case or confirm that he could be placed into a hotel in Essex if he is made homeless.
However, a spokesperson said once a Section 21 notice is received, the council has 56 days to either keep that person in the same property or find alternative accommodation.
The spokesperson said: “At the end of the 56 days, if we haven’t been able to re-house them, they are then offered temporary accommodation and we have a further 56 days to relieve their homelessness.
“If we have failed to re-house the client during the second 56 days, then and only then do we look to see if they have met the criteria eligibility to be accepted under full homelessness duty.”
But the council didn’t rule out Brendon being offered housing – even in the short term – outside of East Cambridgeshire.
The spokesperson said those of extreme high risk, for example, may be housed elsewhere “as we cannot put families with children at risk”.
It remains uncertain when Brendon may have to move out of his current home.
But he knows that in order to start a new chapter in the best possible way, a hotel may not be a good step forward.
He said: “The hotel in Essex is setting me up to fail; it would be an absolute disaster.”