Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Monday, 2 November 2009

Landlord's debt forces eviction

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The Hempson family from Plymouth are to be evicted from their rented home because their landlord has failed to pay his mortgage.

A family of five will be evicted later this week, because their landlord has not paid his mortgage.

Colin and Marlis Hempson live in a rented home in Plymouth with their three children and family pets.

Despite paying their rent every month to their landlord, his mortgage lender is repossessing the property.

The Hempson's landlord, who cannot be named, is believed to be out of the country and has not been available for comment.

The family, who rented the home in March from Plymouth Homes4let, offered to pay the rent directly to the mortgage company, Accord Mortgages, but this was rejected.

Earlier this month, the County Court offered the family a short reprieve, but the eviction is scheduled for Tuesday and the local authority has said the family does not qualify for any assistance.

One minute we had a home, the next minute it's gone
Colin Hempson

"We've been absolutely everywhere, but because we don't have small children and we're not disabled there's nothing for us," Mrs Hempson told BBC News.

"It's very disappointing that something like this can happen in the 21st Century."

At the County Court hearing, the Hempsons said they discovered the letting certificate for the property was only granted for six months and the landlord was already in arrears.

Plymouth Homes4let spokesman Darrel Kwong confirmed permission had been sought and agreed from Accord Mortgages for a six-month tenancy before the mortgage company sought repossession of the property due to arrears.

Mr Kwong confirmed he had spoken directly to Accord Mortgages about the Hempsons' rent payments being sent directly, but said the company's policy was to repossess.

'Buy-to-let'

The Hempsons believe their landlord may have left the country, but Mr Kwong said he could not comment on either the landlord's personal details or his current situation.

An Accord Mortgages spokesperson said: "It is in no-ones interest to repossess a property but we sometimes have to in order to minimise losses to the company and the previous owners of the property.

"We do not allow occupiers to make rental payments to Accord because this would create a new tenancy which would make it difficult for us to obtain vacant possession of the property if they stop making payments in the future."

Manni Pisani, from the Westcounrty Landlords' Association said the Hempsons were in a sad, but not unique, situation.

"It's reasonably common, especially since the recession when some landlords have been finding themselves in a bit of a predicament," he said.

He said if a landlord has a "buy-to-let" mortgage, the lender was legally obliged to give the tenant two months statutory notice.

Mr Hempson said it was frustrating for the family to be in such a difficult situation through no fault of their own.

"There should be more safeguards and also help for people who find themselves in this position," he said.

"One minute we had a home, the next minute it's gone."



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