Two Eastbourne pensioners in ‘state of flat panic’ as they could be facing homelessness

An elderly couple from Eastbourne are at risk of being left homeless because of a problem with their landlord.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 2:44 pm

Christopher Daly and Michael Gale have lived at Silver Strand West for 13 years, renting from a landlord through an agent.

On May 26 Michael said he received a letter from the agent which enclosed a notice to end the tenancy and the couple were issued an official eviction notice, giving them four months to move out.

In the time that followed, Christopher fell ‘seriously ill with a severe lung infection’ and ended up in hospital, according to Michael.

Christopher Daly (left) and Michael Gale SUS-210914-120129001

Christopher’s health has suffered since this and Michael has been caring for him full time.

Michael said on August 8 the couple found a new flat, however a burst water pipe needed to be dealt with before they could move in.

He said he informed the agent of this and due to there being an uncertain move-in date because of the work needed, an open ended eviction delay was not accepted by the landlord.

As it is, the four-month notice period expires on October 2.

Michael said he’s in a ‘state of flat panic’ and has had to seek medical help for his anxiety.

He said, “I am not asking for any financial help just a little bit of empathy and understanding.”

In response to this situation, MP Caroline Ansell said, “I am now involved in this case and I will support these two men in what is a very stressful situation for them.

“In practical terms, I have contacted the agent asking for it to reconsider its position and to find a way forward in partnership so any eviction is delayed until the new flat is ready.

“I have also advised Michael and Christopher to seek specialist advice on what their rights are. However, I hope there will be flexibility on the part of the agent and this situation can be resolved quickly.”

The agent stressed it isn’t responsible for making decisions around evictions, it receives instructions from landlords to service notice to tenants in properties it manages.

In response to this a spokesperson for the landlord said, “As private landlords I can assure you we will follow due process of law. Anything we do, will be taken with legal advice, if that is our choice.”

The Eastbourne Herald would like to issue an apology to Equity Residential about a previous article on this matter that named it as the agent and implied it was responsible for making the decision around the eviction.