Community tries to stop eviction of mum who has been in home for 12 years

Evictions are on the rise, so how can you protect your home?

Human chain

Nimo Abdullahi, a 39-year-old mum of five, was protected by her neighbours in Easton, Bristol, who formed a human chain around her home in an effort to stop her being evicted.

Nimo was told she would have to leave the rented property she has lived in for the past 12 years, but when bailiffs arrived on Tuesday to throw her out, they were greeted with a human chain. Neighbours and campaigners had linked arms and stood outside the property to stop them getting in.

The Bristol Post reported that a newly married couple living over the road, offered campaigners slices of their wedding cake to keep them going.

Neighbours and campaigners were appalled to hear how Nimo had been forced to live with damp in the property. She said she had repeatedly asked the landlord to improve the property, and believed that this was the reason he was so keen to see her leave.

According to the Daily Mail, the landlord responded that this was not the case. He said he had asked her to leave the property for the past two years - and had given her an additional six months' grace so that her children could finish their exams and she could visit her father. He added that she owed £3,000 in rent, and that all legal processes had been followed.

He also said environmental health had inspected the property and confirmed the problem was not damp, but condensation mould due to inadequate ventilation to the wall. He said the tenant had been reminded about the need for ventilation regularly. He said the family had refused to let workers in to resolve the issues for eight weeks.

Nimo was evicted the following day.

Evicted

Sadly, tales of eviction are all-too common, as renters get into financial difficulties and are unable to pay the rent. Shelter estimates that in the last year alone, 350,000 renters have been at risk of eviction - that's more than the population of Leicester. It also identified Enfield as the 'home-threat' hotspot, as an extraordinary one in 23 rented homes have been under the threat of eviction in the past year.

It put together its figures from Ministry of Justice figures on 'possession claims'. This is the first stage in the court process that can ultimately lead to eviction. Clearly it doesn't always go this far, but it reveals the extent of the problem.

Shelter said if someone is struggling to pay their housing costs, they should get help as soon as possible. Paying rent to keep a roof over your head should always be the number one priority over debts such as credit cards and phone bills. It added that people facing eviction can get help from its website at www.shelter.org.uk/advice.

Fortunately not every tale of eviction has a sad ending. We reported back in May on the family who were packing up their belongings because they were being evicted over a £20,000 debt. In the middle of the move, one of the removal men spotted a ring that had been passed down through the family. He persuaded them to have it valued, and discovered it was worth £80,000 - four times the value of their debts. The bank agreed to hold off on eviction.


10 property hotspots

10 property hotspots