Disabled man and family evicted from Hove after 25 years


A MAN paralyzed in a car accident is evicted from his 25-year-old home after landlords called in bailiffs to remove him.

Harvey Cowe, 62, and his wife Sheree, 55, have barricaded themselves inside their home, which the council has spent £200,000 on adaptations to suit its condition.

They fear they could be removed at any time to allow their landlords to sell the home in Brittany Road, Hove, to meet the cost of a £1.4million inheritance tax bill.

dr Cowe, who was paralyzed from the neck down after a car crash in 1984, and his wife were offered by their landlords to find £1million over three months to buy their house.

His mother and sister-in-law sold their homes to raise £500,000 and the council offered to match the amount in the form of a mortgage.

However, by the time the family had put up an offer of £925,000 for the property, the deadline had passed by a week and the landlords had started eviction proceedings.

Last week, a court granted landlords Anna and Dean Lashmar ownership of the property – with bailiffs drilling through the locks within minutes of the hearing ending.

Ms Cowe told The Argus: “We had the money and we thought we were going to make something happen.

“We had been thinking about buying our house, which we have lived in for 25 years, and we were quite excited, but then the landlords refused to negotiate with us any further and stopped communicating.

“The bailiffs said someone would come back with the police and regardless of my husband being bedridden they would arrest him, handcuff him and put him in the back of a police van.

“It was really scary and I was really shattered by the whole thing. I’m really worried as one of my doors won’t lock and I’m afraid to leave the house if they come back.”

The eviction also comes after Ms Cowe lost her father last week.

She said the council was working to temporarily relocate the family to student accommodation, but expressed concern about whether Dr. Cowe would fit.

Ms Cowe said: “It’s been like this for years – I’m getting hardened a bit but it’s not stopping the pain.

“I’m really sad and tired of all of this — I just want this nightmare to end.”

The city council is appealing to landlords to reconsider the eviction

Brighton and Hove Councilor David Gibson, the co-chair of the housing committee, said he was “incredibly disappointed” by the court’s decision not to give the couple more time to buy their home.

He said: “Due to the exceptional circumstances, we worked very quickly to reach an agreement that would allow the family to purchase the property.

“We arranged a loan to help the family purchase based on an estimate and we have shared our burden with all parties.

“It is very unusual for a council to exercise its powers in this way, but we believe our actions in this instance were appropriate given the needs of this household and the circumstances.”

Cllr Gibson said the reasons the landlord had for rejecting the proposed purchase and enforcing the eviction “had nothing to do with the speed of the council’s work to assist the Cowe family with the purchase.”

He said: “I find it very sad that the landlord is insisting on going ahead with the immediate eviction of a severely disabled man and his family.

“The family lives in fear of the bailiffs. At this point I am appealing to the landlord to reconsider their decision and try to negotiate a sale to the family.”

The council is working flat out to find alternative temporary accommodation for the family.

Landlord: case was “emotional for all parties”

Rachel Lashmar, a family representative for the landlords, said: “We cannot comment on the case ourselves other than to say that this was an incredibly complex and emotional situation for everyone involved, which spanned three years.”

Speaking to The Argus in February, co-landlord Dean Lashmar said he had no choice but to sell the home to cover an inheritance tax bill.

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20627555.disabled-man-family-evicted-hove-home-25-years/?ref=rss Disabled man and family evicted from Hove after 25 years

Fry Electronics Team

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