Two St Michael’s Gate residents faced with losing their home have earned a reprieve from a county court judge after doubts were raised about the eviction process.
Housemates Lukasz Dudek and Julita Dzido, and Julita’s five-year-old son, are guaranteed at least another fortnight at their home after an accelerated possession order for their home was adjourned.
Deputy District Judge Waring said she had not seen any evidence that the landlords had complied with the correct eviction regulations, and she wanted to know why the name of the landlord on the residents’ tenancy agreement was different to the name of the claimant in the court hearing.
The possession order was issued by Paul Simon Magic Homes, the landlord of the property. However, no representative from the firm was in court.
The managing agent for the property is Stef & Philips which has been orchestrating the evictions of more than 70 people and their families from the St Michael’s Gate estate in Parnwell, leading to huge anger in the city.
The vacant properties are currently being filled by Peterborough City Council with the city’s homeless under a deal which will cost the authority nearly £1 million a year for three years.
Judge Waring said during the hearing that it was “not clear” whether Paul Simon Magic Homes had complied with eviction regulations laid down in the Deregulation Act 2015.
She added later on that “it is a shame that they have chosen not to attend today.”
Speaking before the hearing factory worker Lukasz, who works at Bakkavor in Spalding, said that the situation has been “very hard” and “very stressful.”
He added: “When somebody asks me about my situation I do not want to talk about it.”
The 27-year-old said he liked living at St Michael’s Gate, describing it as “very good” and “quiet.”
Assisting the pair inside Peterborough Crown Court today (Monday, February 6) was city councillor Ed Murphy who has many years of experience in these hearings.
He told the court that the council had agreed to find out if the transfer of the St Michael’s Gate properties from social to private housing was lawful.
He also wants it checked whether Lukasz and Julita’s tenancy agreements are assured shortholds, otherwise the eviction would be unlawful.
Speaking after the hearing, Cllr Murphy said: “I’m pleased with today’s result. Our wish was for the judge to adjourn for 14 days so we can clarify the legality of the transfer from social to private housing.”
He added: “The judge is not clear who the landlord is herself.”
The Peterborough Telegraph is currently campaigning to prevent a repeat of the St Michael’s Gate evictions in the future.