A 76-year-old man is pleading for help as he faces being evicted in just days from his Ramsgate home of 44 years.
Former builder Noel Glass received a ‘no fault’ eviction and has to be out of his Malborough Road flat by June 1.
The pensioner says he has nowhere to go and has been told by Thanet council that there is no available accommodation for him within Thanet – meaning he will have to go outside of the town where he has lived his entire life.
He said: “I have been down (to the council) but they said there is nothing in Thanet, all they can do is find me accommodation out of Thanet.
“I’ve got nowhere to put my possessions and I am really panicking now, I do not want to leave Thanet. I’m just in a pickle.”
Noel’s flat also came furnished so when he does find alternative accommodation he will have no bed, cooker, fridge or other items. He says he also does not have money for a deposit although he may be able to get help from Thanet council’s discretionary fund.
He said: “They told me to try and find some properties and a friend is helping me. I need to find a one bed flat but it is all very upsetting. I just do not know where to turn and I am finding it extremely hard to pack up my stuff.”
Noel, who has suffered chronic back pain for the last 20 years, says his only comfort is playing on his X Box, adding: “It helps me take my mind off the pain.”
He is hoping someone might come forward with a suitable property.
Thanet council say support is available, including emergency accommodation once a possession order is issued by the court – although this may be outside of the district
A council spokesperson said: ”When a private sector tenant receives a section 21 notice from their landlord, it is really important that they contact the council’s Housing Options service as early as possible for advice and assistance.
“If the notice expires within 56 days, we will support them with a personal housing plan, focused on preventing them from becoming homeless. This might involve negotiating with their existing landlord or providing help with rent-in-advance or deposits so that they are able to find a new home.
“When the notice expires, tenants are still protected from eviction until a possession order is issued by the courts. The priority is to prevent cases from reaching this stage, but if they do and emergency accommodation is needed this may need to be out of the Thanet area, depending on what is available at that time.”
The spokesperson added: “In terms of accommodation for single people, we do have one bed flats in our portfolio and when they become available they are let to households from the housing register. This would include any homeless households on the register.”
New regulations, such as those requiring higher ratings on Energy Performance Certificates, are seeing increasing numbers of landlords sell up. This is, in part, due to the costs of making sure a property EPC ratings are a C instead of D or E.
Earlier this year Thanet council said there had been an increase in demand for social housing, particularly due to the impact of the covid pandemic. Reasons for the need often include relationship and family breakdowns, growing pressures on the private rented sector and increased unemployment which has had a significant impact on people being able to retain accommodation.
Thanet has some 1,638 families on the housing register with an average wait of three years. In February there were 160 households in temporary accommodation and 82 households placed out of the area.
Demand is rising with Thanet council saying an increase in notices to quit being served since October 2021 is likely due to factors including increasing property prices, changes to tax rules, the increase in the conversion of rental accommodation into holiday rental properties and the looming abolition of ‘no fault eviction’ Section 21 notices expected later this year.