Honiton couple face eviction

PUBLISHED: 16:11 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 01:00 16 June 2010

A HONITON couple who are facing the prospect of being made homeless have warned others to ensure their tenancy agreements are up to date.

A HONITON couple who are facing the prospect of being made homeless have warned others to ensure their tenancy agreements are up to date.

Richard, 54, and Bridget, 49, Salter, of Streamers Meadows, have been told they will have to leave their home by March 1 because the tenancy agreement was with Mrs Salter's mother.

Although Mrs Salter said she was given assurances by East Devon District Council that they would be housed, even if it meant moving to a smaller property, they now face being evicted.

The district council has said that, while it sympathises with them, the law only allows for one succession of tenancy, which has already happened.

Mrs Salter said: The tenancy agreement was in my father's name, originally, and when he died it was transferred to my sister.

"When she died, it was moved on to my mother but she could not look after herself anymore, so my husband and I, with our son, moved in to take care of her.

"She has now died and the council has said we have to move out, as the tenancy was not transferred into our name.

"We had a solicitor look at it for us and he could not see a way out of it."

She said they had been to see what estate agents had to offer, but said the cost of housing was beyond what they could easily afford.

She said: "We had been told we would have to move by March 1 but that was not going to happen and the council extended it to May 1.

"Now we are stuck, with nowhere to go.

"We want to warn people to be very careful when they take care of parents to make sure they get the tenancy into their name."

The couple have lived in the house for about two years and Mrs Salter said the situation was causing them a great deal of worry.

A spokesman for EDDC said: "Whilst we sympathise with Mr and Mrs Salter's predicament, it was inadvisable to give up a tenancy to move in with a relative. The law allows for one succession of tenancy - that is a rented property being passed on to a live-in relative - but this has already happened. The house is currently underoccupied and we need to reclaim the property so we can re-let it to another household on our waiting list for family accommodation in Honiton.

"We have asked for the keys to be returned to us, but this has not been done and so we will be progressing with a notice to quit.

"The council is willing to help them access private rented accommodation and will provide financial assistance if required.


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