Residents’ battle to keep family home

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A group of residents in Selston say they are prepared to take legal action to help one of their neighbours stay in the council house his family has lived in for the past 50 years.

Neighbours of David Fido, of Hooley Street, are gearing up to sign an oath to say that he has lived at the Ashfield Homes-managed property for more than 12 months to help him succeed the tenancy from his mum Elsie, who died in May at the age of 92.

David says that he moved into the house fully 16 months ago to take care of his mum, who died earlier this year. He paid to keep his belongings in storage at his lodgings in Nottingham.

He is currently being charged an occupancy rate of £70 a week, but he is not recognised as a tenant.

According to Ashfield Homes’ rules a house may be passed on to a family member if they have lived there for at least 12 months.

Now around 20 of David’s neighbours are gearing up to sign an affidavit (a written statement of fact) to say that he has lived there for at least a year.

Sidney Togg said: “I’d like to see him stay in the house he grew up in - he’s willing to pay rent and council tax. He’s a nice chap who looks after his house and garden.”

And Diane Butler, a Hooley Street resident and Selston parish councillor, said: “It’s no problem for me to sign an affidavit. It’s the right thing for me to do.”

But Kelly Scott, who is director of housing services at Ashfield Homes, said that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ that it was David’s main address.

He said: “Subject to the occupation criterion being met the law allows one succession to take place in respect of a secure tenancy.

“Whilst we accept we are unable to locate the original tenancy agreement dating back to the early 1960s when Mr Fido’s father was the sole tenant, there is clear evidence that a succession has subsequently taken place when Mrs Fido succeeded to the tenancy some 12 years ago.

“We, of course, sympathise with Mr Fido’s emotional attachment to the family home, however, we are not in a position to offer a tenancy to him as he has not been able to demonstrate he has occupied the property for the requisite period of time and further, one succession has already taken place at this property.”