1000 Easton residents are supporting our campaign against rip-off tenancy fees & insecure renting. Jacqui's story reminds us why. Join the protest...
I've been a tenant of properties managed by Holbrook Moran for 14 years now. Over that time I've had a number of different landlords, some better than others. I stayed in the last of these houses for several years and was generally very happy there.
Unfortunately, the owner decided to sell the building that had become my home and I was forced to move out. I was on a monthly rolling contract of course. If I'd had a longer, fixed term tenancy agreement I would have been able to stay until it was up.
I spoke to Tobie Holbrook who said that he would find me somewhere new to live. He said “don't you worry Jacqui, I'm going to look after you, I've got a house for you that belongs to me and you can stay there for as long as you want”
I was so relieved that I was going to live somewhere that would be suitable for me and adaptable to my needs as someone on Disability Living Allowance. The places I'd lived in before had been ok, so I was expecting the same if not more from a house that Tobie owned himself. When he told me I could stay there as long as I wanted, I was really happy. I trusted him.
On the night I moved in it rained. Soon, water was dripping through the ceiling and running down the walls of my bedroom. I couldn't believe it. This wasn't what I expected from my new home. Within weeks my bedroom was covered in mould, the walls and ceiling were wet and stained and mushrooms were growing in my bedroom.
Since then, the problems have only gotten worse and the damp is now at an advanced stage throughout the whole house. Despite my repeated calls, nothing has been done and now they don't even answer my calls when they see my number come up. Tobie Holbrook said that this is because I was rude to them (which is untrue).
I contacted Shelter and Bristol Law Centre who arranged for Environmental Health to make an inspection. They immediately issued a Repair Order and told Tobie that he was obliged to make the building safe for me to live in. He has ignored them and done nothing.
The house is generally in a terrible state. When the Council workers came round to adapt my bathroom they said it was real luck that the bath hadn't fallen through the floor as the beams were so eaten away by woodworm.
People have tried to kick my front door in twice now, looking for the drug dealer who lived there before me, but Tobie has done nothing to fix my badly cracked front door. The old tree in the garden that fell and crushed 3 neighbours' fences (imagine if it had been a person) has just been left lying where it fell.
I don't know who has my old deposit and I'm worried I won't get it back. I can't afford to raise a new one, nor pay £300 tenancy fees - so I'm stuck.
I don't like to complain but I am desperate now and I can't put up with this any longer. I am so glad that I found ACORN. I saw the poster at the bus stop but when I went back to get the details it had been torn down. I had to ask my carer to go down to Easton Community Centre and find out the time of last weeks public meeting. You don't know how good it feels to find people who will help me after I've been let down by everyone else.
In ACORN we come together in our union to help each other out and fight for the improvements to our lives we so desperately need.
I need your help.
Please join me and other ACORN members on Saturday 26th July at 11:00 outside Holbrook Moran letting agents at 283 Church Road, Redfield, BS5 9HT. Click here to tell us you'll be there >>
We will be holding this demonstration to demand that Tobie comply with the Council Repair Order and support ACORN's tenancy campaign.
Jacqui Lewis and the team at ACORN.