Page last updated at 20:39 GMT, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Squatters evicted from family's Tottenham home

The home in Tottenham
The squatters claim they signed a tenancy agreement

A family of squatters has been evicted from a north London home which they occupied over the Christmas holidays.

Julian and Samantha Mosedale were on holiday with their three sons when friends alerted them about intruders at their three-bedroom house in Tottenham.

They had been living in a rented house since July 2008 while their home underwent renovation work.

Mrs Mosedale, 41, said the ordeal had "shaken their faith" and made them question living in Tottenham.

Speaking through a translator, the squatters, from Romania, claimed they were paying rent and showed BBC London a paper saying it was the tenancy agreement.

Burglar alarms

As the home was undergoing a revamp it did not have a kitchen, heating or hot water. The squatters - four adults and four children - were using electric fires and cooking on gas stoves.

Builders had been working at the property until October and Mr Mosedale, 45, last went to the house on 17 December. The house was also fitted with burglar alarms and locks.

The Mosedales were in Essex on Boxing Day when a friend called and said he had seen people going into the house.

Julian Mosedale
Mr Mosedale said the squatters moved in on Boxing Day

On 3 January Mr Mosedale found the locks had been changed. He said he was discouraged by the initial police response as they treated it "as a civil matter".

"We were warned not to approach or gain access to our property and risk immediate arrest."

But once Mr Mosedale got a court order for eviction, he said the police acted "quickly" and the squatters were evicted on Wednesday afternoon.

Mrs Mosedale said the family had lived there since 1995 but the ordeal left them and their sons - aged five, eight and 10 - feeling "totally violated and unsafe".

"This has shaken our faith in the house and London," she said.

"Our oldest son was quite upset. He didn't want to come back as he didn't feel safe in Tottenham.

"This is reinforcing our feeling that this is not a good place to raise our kids."

The family were hoping to move back by March but are now unsure as to how long it will be before they get full possession of their home and complete the building work.

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