Tenancy loophole could see young family left homeless

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A father and his young family are facing homelessness due to a tenancy loophole.

Warehouse worker Casey Mayo is facing eviction from his Bennetts End home, which is owned by Genesis Housing Association.

He has battled for three years to stay in the two-bedroom property in Wilkinson Way, where he lives with his pregnant girlfriend and his seven-month-old daughter.

The 31-year-old, who has spent thousands of pounds on solicitor fees, was told he must move out after his previous girlfriend and mother of his first born daughter – now four years old – moved out and later served a notice to quit the property.

Even though the couple had joint tenancy of the property, Casey said: “That basically ended the tenancy for both of us.

“I have been fighting this for three years. I have been to court numerous times now and I have spent lots of money on it.”

Casey believes a more logical solution to the problem would be to sign the tenancy over to him otherwise he and his family will face the streets and will still need to be rehomed by officials.

“The council have said they will put us in a hotel room,” said Casey.

In October, Casey attended Watford County Court where the judge upheld the housing association’s eviction proceedings. The family currently has a stay of execution as they dad is in the process of appealing.

A spokesman for Genesis said: “Genesis sees eviction as the last resort and only seeks possession where it is proportionate to the case, and when we have exhausted non-enforcement measures as set out in the relevant policies and procedures. We have clear procedures for terminating a tenancy and it can only be done in specific ways.

“In July 2013, Mr Mayo’s partner decided to end their joint tenancy agreement by serving a Notice to Quit. The tenancy ended on 1 September 2013 and Mr Mayo was required to move out of the property so that it could be re-allocated by Dacorum Borough Council.

“Mr Mayo refused to vacate the property and possession proceedings were issued on 7 October 2013. After protracted litigation the case was heard on 22 September 2015 and judgment was given on 7 October 2015. The Judge found for Genesis and ordered that Mr Mayo give up possession of the property within 14 days. The Judge was fully aware of all the issues raised by Mr Mayo.

“Genesis does not allocate properties; this is handled by Dacorum Council. Sadly, many people are waiting for years until a suitable home becomes available. As a single male, Mr Mayo would never have had priority for a two bedroom family home.

“Mr Mayo has been aware that he is facing an eviction notice and that he may be required to vacate the property at short notice since July 2013. If his housing needs have now changed and he requires assistance, he will have to apply to Dacorum council who will place him and his current family on the housing waiting list. They will be allocated a suitable property when one becomes available.”