'Feel suicidal' Council house tenant being evicted after dad and brother die months apart

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Darren Evans, 51, has lived in his three-bed, semi detached home in Cardiff, Wales, his whole life. But the grieving tenant is facing eviction from the home which his parents first moved into 55 years ago after officials say it is now too big for his needs.

Darren shared the home in Heol-Yr-Odyn with his dad, 77, and his brother, 53, who were both called David.

Devastatingly, Darren’s brother passed away last July and in November, he lost his father to sepsis.

Since the two losses, Darren has been suffering from anxiety and depression.

After the deaths of his two family members, the council informed Darren that he would need to be rehoused in a one-bedroom property to make way for other council tenants in need of more space.

Darren also suffers from severe learning difficulties meaning he is unable to read and write.

Family members have been staying with him to support him in dealing with his grief.

But the family claim this will be impossible if the council turf him out into a one-bedroom home, with his niece, Amy Lesauteur, 29, launching a petition with over 160 signatures to stop the eviction.

Welsh law only allows one succession per tenancy, with this already being used after Darren’s dad David was handed the tenancy after his wife and Darren’s mum Barbara died in 1994.

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Despite the Welsh Government passing a law in 2016 which will potentially allow two, the change is not coming into force until this December, meaning it will be too late for Darren.

Cardiff Council told WalesOnline that even if the new law was already in place, it would still be able to apply for an eviction on Darren’s house because they claim it is too big for a tenant’s needs.

Amy said: “He was offered a one-bedroom flat in one of the worst estates in Ely, Spinney Close. It has a big drug issue. He was told, ‘You have to view it on Monday and if you don’t, you’re not going to be offered any property’.”

Darren claims to have waited outside the home for an hour and a half but to no avail as no one turned up at the property.

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The council have insisted there was a misunderstanding over the appointment.

A spokeswoman told WalesOnline the property where the viewing was taking place is in fact not ready so a viewing would not have been offered.

Amy however claimed the family have been given no date or guidance for when Darren has to leave adding the situation is “so stressful”.

She added how Darren’s neighbours play a “big part” in his life by cooking and taking care of him and they’ve written letters pleading to the council.

A council spokesperson said: “The law on tenancy succession is clear and currently allows only one succession to take place, which has already occurred in this instance. There is very high demand for family-size accommodation across the city and as Mr Evans has been assessed as requiring a one-bedroom property, the three-bedroom house he’s currently in is too big for his needs.”



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