Ted’s story

CHAC assists single man with health problems evicted from bedsit landlord wanted to renovate

Ted was a single man with serious health problems. He was an assured shorthold tenant of a private landlord who was evicting him because he wanted to renovate his bedsit. CHAC assisted Ted complete a homelessness application to Canterbury City Council, but the Council was of the view that he was not in priority need and therefore would not house him. CHAC helped Ted to provide the evidence from his consultant and his GP that he was vulnerable due to his serious health condition, and the Council accepted the full duty to house him.

While housing people out of area is better than allowing them to become homeless, it is very disruptive particularly for those with support networks (family and friends), work and school for children nearby where they live in the Canterbury District.
— Paul Wilkinson, manager

However, in most cases when the Council agrees to house someone who is homeless they do so out of the area, usually in the Medway/Maidstone area. Households are later moved back to the Canterbury area into one of the Council’s ‘hostels’. The Council’s hostels are Victorian buildings converted into flats, most of which, but not all, are self contained. In Ted’s case CHAC successfully argued that out of area accommodation was unsuitable for him and that he should be housed in a hostel.

While all of this was going on Ted’s landlord was proceeding with his application to court to evict him. CHAC assisted Ted to submit a defence in proceedings. After discussions with the landlord’s solicitors the landlord agreed that the court should make a consent order giving the landlord possession in November 2017 and that Ted would not have to pay any of the landlord’s legal court costs of over £420. We advised Ted to agree to the consent order, which was duly made by Canterbury County Court. The result of our assistance was that Ted’s eviction was delayed by 12 weeks and he did not have to pay the landlord’s court costs.

We later negotiated further with the landlord’s solicitors that, as the Council were going to house him, the landlord should not apply to the court bailiffs to evict Ted once the November date had passed, thus saving him a further £121 in legal costs. Shortly after this agreement Ted was housed in a Canterbury hostel much to his relief and so he did not become homeless.

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