A FORMER miner is being kicked out of his childhood home by heartless jobsworths, just weeks after his beloved mum died.
Shaun Wooldridge from Nottingham is fuming that the council has already issued him an eviction notice AND invited families for viewings of the property – before he's even laid his mother to rest.
Now the 61-year-old is terrified his family will be "homeless" before the end of July without anywhere to go.
Shaun, who worked at the Calverton colliery as a miner, had been living at his mother's house with his wife, Sununta, and stepdaughter.
So when his mum tragically passed away on June 16, he never expected to be turfed out of his own home.
An eviction letter arrived in the post within just a few weeks and two families have already showed up at his door hoping to grab the council property for themselves.
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The stepdad has lived in the house from when he was a child up until his current age, working in the asbestos industry.
But since Shaun is not on the official tenancy agreement he is not technically a successor, according to Nottingham City Homes.
The bereaved son told Nottinghamshire Live how he was devastated at the red tape barring him from his own home.
He said: "I am going to be homeless. Everything has happened so quickly.
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"We have got letters to prove we have been living here.
"I have been paying rent. I'm in full-time employment and I've lived here all my life. I'm on the electoral roll here."
Shaun added: "I have not even laid my mum to rest and now I've got people coming up to the house saying they are doing viewings. I have always understood we have been on the tenancy and rent books.
"My stepdaughter had to be brought out of school because she is worried about losing her house. I have already paid around £1,000 in rent."
Taking over someone's tenancy in a council home after they die is called succession.
The person named on the tenancy agreement needs to agree that you can stay, but after that you should be eligible to pay rent from the date they died.
There are of course certain criteria, listed below, which indicate whether or not you should be entitled to stay in your home.
The list includes whether or not you lived there before, or whether you are related to the deceased.
If the council challenges your right to succeed the tenancy, you may request a review.
A spokeswoman from Nottingham City Homes said: “We want to offer our condolences to Mr Wooldridge on the loss of his mother, we know it is a difficult time for the family.
"When a tenant unfortunately passes, we have to send a legal document to end their tenancy. As Mr Wooldridge and his family are not on the tenancy agreement, there is no right to succession.
"We are supporting the family and working with them to look at their housing needs and seeing if they are eligible to stay in council housing and they will stay in the property until this is complete.
"We are regularly in touch and will continue to help them to find a solution.”
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Shaun's tragedy comes soon after another grieving council house tenant was threatened with homelessness as well.
Heartbroken Darren Evans, 51, lived in his home his whole life, but faced eviction from the three-bed semi in Cardiff, Wales, which his parents first moved into 55-years-ago, after officials say it was too big for his needs.
STAYING IN YOUR COUNCIL HOME WHEN SOMEONE DIES
Being able to stay in your home after a death depends on the following:
- If you lived with them before they died – it will only count if it was your main home and not a temporary one
- If you were living together as a couple
- If you're related to the person who died
- How long you lived with the person who died
- The type of tenancy they had and how long they had it for
- What the tenancy agreement says – it might give you more rights to take over the tenancy
Check if there's already been a succession, for example, if the deceased already succeeded the property from their dead partner.
Joint tenants will automatically keep the property, but you need to check the tenancy type and official agreement.
To take over the tenancy you will most likely need to fill out a form and provide evidence you lived in the property before, such as bank statemetns, bills or benefit letters.
Other useful proof includes the death certificate of the previous tenant or evidence of a marriage or civil partnership with them.
If you are unable to stay in the property, the council or housing association should give you at least four weeks' notice.
For further advice on appealing a decision, head to Citizens Advice for help.
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