Evicted on Christmas Eve - John's Story

Dec 08, 2021 1:20 PM

Generation Rent supporter John describes just how terrible an unfair eviction during the Christmas period is.

In October we were given eight weeks notice to leave our family home of eight years. Never have we missed a month's rent. We pride ourselves on being good tenants who keep our home well looked after - but none of that matters. We must be out by Christmas Eve.

We are a family of 6. Myself, John, my wife and our four children are all now undertaking the gruelling and stressful task of moving every piece of our lives, from one place to another, at our landlord's whim.

Being evicted and forced to move home is bad at any time of the year. But now, during a cold winter and in what is supposed to be a happy and jolly holiday season, it has been absolutely harrowing.

After weeks of searching for a new home, we’ve finally found a place to move to. But, not only it is smaller, it is more expensive.

So now I have to find an extra £200 month in rent, money I can’t afford to spend, but what choice do I have? We have no choice. We live in Hastings. Between a boom in holiday lets and a great many Londoners who have moved to our seaside town, there is a tiny number of private houses to rent.

Both my wife I work hard and have a modest income – but we just cannot get onto the property ladder. This rise in rent, the ever-increasing costs of our bills, means there’s very little if any money left at the end of the month to save. And, because of that, it feels as though we are being punished - treated like second class citizens. Simply because we are private renters does not mean that we shouldn't be able to find stability and peace in our home.

The landlord won't interact with us. He hides behind the letting agency who say they're doing as instructed. For him, this is just a business investment but for us, it's our home. That needs to be taken into account - it's not like we are renting a bike!

I worry about the impact this instability will have on my children. My wife and I are not young people, and this move is causing extreme distress.

I accept that sometimes landlords have to sell their property, but think it's so wrong that the law allows it to be done like this. No consideration has been given for the time of year or for the fact that it is a 'no fault' eviction. We have done nothing wrong.

Despite this horrible ordeal, I am thankful that we have been able to find somewhere to move to. I cannot imagine how families, who simply haven't been able to find somewhere in 8 weeks, must be managing this time of year.

Renters need security in their homes, especially during the cold winter months. Renters need more support if they are forced to move when they have done nothing wrong.

That’s why I support Generation Rent and its campaigning to end unfair evictions and secure better protections for renters like me and my family. Help other people like us by donating to their Christmas Appeal.