Being evicted, can't get through to anyone who can help and we're scared(215 Posts)
Hi all - posting here for traffic, in a bit off a panic at the moment. Quite a long back story to it, I did have a thread in legal about it all, I will try and link to it.
I'm a lone parent of 4 DC's (still at home), currently doing a nursing degree. It's been a bit of a year in general- DS4 (11) has ASD so suffers from quite severe behavioural and sleep problems. DS3 very sadly lost his best friend of 10 years to brain cancer a few weeks ago and this has affected him really badly - he has become very anxious, is having panic attacks, sleeping problems and has been pulling his hair out. DD2 (18) is due to start her a levels next week.
We were served a section 21 in our private rented house of 10 years back in February. I looked everywhere but couldn't find anything at all - rental prices have rocketed round here and as a student with no wage or guarantor no one will rent to us anyway. We went to the council who said they couldn't help us. Went to shelter then CAB who advised us the council were obliged to help us. They are not helpful - almost impossible to get through to, and advised us we have to wait for the landlord to take us to court for possession and then eviction.
The landlord has now done this. We were allocated a hearing to ask for a couple of extra weeks for exceptional circumstances due to my daughter's A- levels. But the hearing was this morning and the judge denied our application for extra time, and granted the landlord possession from tomorrow. They have also said I have to pay a significant amount to him in court costs that I cannot afford. This is so unfair as we are only still here because the council have insisted we stay until the bailiffs arrive.
I have just spoken to the landlord- he has agreed to store our things for 2 weeks if we go voluntarily, meaning we will be saved the cost and the DC's being scared by the bailiffs but the council have said no, if we do that we make ourselves voluntarily homeless and they will have no duty to house us.
So now, he is instructing high court bailiffs who I am told will probably be here within the week. I can't get through to the council. I have nowhere to store our stuff, yet they are saying they do not have to help us with that. We still have our cat here- all the catteries are full up. The council have told us we will be in a b and b indefinitely which could be anywhere within a 30 mile radius. I have no idea how I will get my children to school if we are far away. Really panicking here and I can't get through to anyone.
Can anyone advice me what I should do from here? I'm really panicking.
I have no particular expertise in this area, but two suggestions - as you're a student, does your university have any welfare services that can help?
And is there any friend or relative in the area your dd could stay with while she is doing her A levels? Could her school/college help her at all?
Re: stuff storing - any friend/relative with a garage you can get stuff into?
Get some bags packed ready with your essentials - basically as much as you can carry.
When the bailiffs come, they will go through everything with you then make you leave (contrary to popular belief they're not all awful).
IIRC your LL should give you 7 days to collect the remainder of your belongings. He has to give you opportunity to collect your belongings. When we evicted our tenant he was banned from the property however we allowed his reps to come whenever they wanted.
Try ringing Shelter, I think if the eviction is enforced you have a period of time to reclaim any belongings left behind.
It is fucking criminal that we make people go through the stress and hassle and expense of court and bailiff eviction just to prove they aren't 'virulently homeless'.
I wish people were entitled to help from the notice being served.
Some things to hep short term:
Pay for a removal van and storage and get all your stuff into storage except a suitcase of essentials for everyone and a box or two of kitchen stuff.
Do you have any family or friends who could take the cat for a while? If you put a post on FB I'm sure someone would take the cat for a bit for you!
It all sounds horribly stressful. If you are in s Wales I will help with cat.
Local animal rescue places will keep your car for the short term or find a foster home. We are currently fostering a parrot for a man who was evicted. Landlord has to store your stuff and give you an opportunity to collect within a certain timeframe so don't worry about that. Go to your council offices with the paperwork as soon as the High Court enforcement officers have been. Be aware any children over 18 may be housed desperately to yourself.
Ok, you must stay in the property until you are evicted. Otherwise the council can say you have left voluntarily. Pack some things that you need as essentials. Don't worry about the rest. When you are evicted, present at the council offices and say you are homeless. They will have to accommodate you.
Are you near the Council Housing department? Because in my day, a decade ago so this may be out of date, going in, insisting on speaking to someone and staying until they reach a solution was the way to get them to do something. Ringing didn't work. Now, I am NOT current in my knowledge at all so please get Shelter to advise.
Does anyone have a SW/support worker?
So sorry you're going through this.
The cats protection league will often have a list of people who will foster a cat in these situations. Try your local branch and they will help.
This is terrible when I was 15 we were evicted from our rental home and the council did the exact same thing to us as they're doing to you. It should be a criminal offence to not be entitled to the help from when the notice is served. I was also sitting my GCSE at the time. If you are in cambridgeshire I could help with storage of your possessions I have a basically empty garage.
I am so sorry you are going through this.
I am of no help. Sorry. But I'm a student nurse too and I know how stressful things are sounding for you. I'm here if you need to chat x
Do the school know of your children's situation - this is important regarding exams plus I doubt that it would be the first time they haver heard this.
Where are you located? I am in the West Midlands if that is any help.
Oh god that's awful. Where do you live, maybe I could help with storage. Can't help with the cat as I'm allergic.
This sounds horrendous for you all! Some great advice on here already, just wanted to say if you are in London/South East I am happy to help with storage (I have an empty garage) and cat also.
Ok so because you're a student you qualify for legal aid, so go and find a solicitor who does housing legal aid today and say you're being evicted tomorrow and see what they can do.
My husband is a legal aid solicitor and he regularly does this and get either extra time or helps them remain in the house because the papers were served wrong etc
I'm so sorry you're going through this, what a fucking ridiculous system the council operate. I really hope shelter can help you. Can a friend take your cat until you're rehoused?
Nothing to add to the good advice already posted by others.
Do talk to your student welfare and the schools, maybe DD 18 could stay with a friend's family.
Dreadful situation for you all, I hope it is soon sorted. Thinking of you all.
If you're in the Midlands I can help with storage and possibly with the cat... Please let me know!
Regarding your cat - please let us know which area you are in and someone may be able to help. Are you in London?
The council will do nothing until the bailiffs arrive - do not leave earlier, just get ready. And yes, the costs are down to you - that's the system although they are unlikely to be enforced. Crap, isn't it - but too many people, right to buy and not enough housing. What the council are doing are postponing the problem to the last possible minute.
I'm surprised the landlord was allowed the high court bailiffs . you can leave r stuff but that is only postponing the inevitable, and what they dont tell you is that the landlord can charge storage. This is because while your stuff is there the place cannot be relet or sold.
There are gig economy sites - rent my loft , something like that - which could be cheaper than storage.
It is all utterly ridiculous but years of over population, under investment and the refusal of the populace to accept higher taxes make it so.
I wish you the best. I am so sorry.
I am also confused as to how you are going to pay court costs - really you are needing legal advice - why fine the homeless?! It makes no sense!
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