My family spent years hoarding junk - now the council wants to charge me to get rid of it

May 14, 2019

Article originally sourced from Camebridge News

"A man will learning difficulties is struggling to clear his hoarder family's council house after the authority asked him to leave.

 

His brother Christopher Ashley said Tim was given a year's notice to vacate the three-bed council home he had shared with their mother since his birth.

 

Tim, 51, has brain damage and the home has been specially adapted for his needs - but since his mother died Mr Ashley says the authority has refused to let them stay on at the house.

 

Mr Ashley, 53, says there is no way his brother could clear the house himself - which was filled up by his mum, nan and step dad who were all hoarders - and believes they should have been given more time.

 

He also says the authority has threatened the family with a bill if they cannot clear the entire property themselves.

 

He told the News: "There is no way he can do it. So I have been clearing it all out and it is still not cleared."

 

Mr Ashley has so far only cleared one bedroom, and told the News there was much more to be done.

 

He said he was only aware of the notice five months after it was served by Uttlesford District Council.

 

"My brother has brain damage and we have been treated like dirt by the council," Mr Ashley added.

 

"I phoned up the council and asked them about taking the tenancy agreement on.

"My brother was born and bred in that house and that's all he knew.

"They said I could not take the property over.

"That only gave me six months to clear the house.

"My mum, my nan, my step dad they were all hoarders and so I have a lot of stuff to clear out of the property."

 

Overwhelming task

Mr Ashley says his brother suffered from epilepsy when he was younger, which left him unable to talk properly or go out on his own.

 

He can also only walk so far because he gets very breathless.

 

Christopher, who currently lives in another property near Bishops Stortford and is looking after Tim, said he feels overwhelmed at the thought of clearing the property.

He also suffers from depression and recently lost his partner of 32 years.

 

"Everyone I've spoken to about this they tell me it is a wonder I am not dead yet," he said.

 

"I have high blood pressure and the doctor told me to take things easy because I am on the verge of a heart attack or a stroke."

 

He continued: "I have suffered from depression since I lost my step dad in 2007.

"I have been through a lot of losses. I lost my nan in 2012, then I lost my girlfriend four months after my mum.

 

"I am just trying to move the stuff all on my own.

"The council won't help me, they said to me if I leave anything here whatsoever I am going to be charged for the clearance - for them to clear it.

"Everyone seems to have turned their back on us."

 

Brother is still paying rent on home

Meanwhile Christopher claims his brother still pays rent from housing benefit for the three-bed home in Stansted Mountfitchet.

 

After their mother's death, he moved Tim into his house to look after him because he is afraid he will be put into a carehome.

 

He said: "I am not having him put away.

"There is no way anyone is splitting us up. We are going to be together. He is the only one I have left.

"I think we should have been allowed to stay in the property because it had all been adapted for him, with a wet room and a room at the back was specially built for him to be dried off after a shower."

 

The ordeal has also upset Tim, whose condition means routine is especially important.

Christopher said: "It has upset him in a very big way.

"It is all ups and downs for him, the poor lad doesn't know if he is coming or going.

"I have tried to sit down and explain what is going on.

"I couldn't get my mum laid to rest till November because of all the holdups I have had with the council.

"It is just very stressful."

 

A spokesman for Uttlesford District Council said they are supporting the brothers.

He said: “The council is in regular contact with Mr Ashley and has been supporting him and his brother over many months.

 

"Officers will be meeting him again next week to see what further assistance we can offer in their forthcoming move to a more suitable council property of Mr Ashley’s choice.”"

 

Source: https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/hoarders-disabled-help-council-house-14285822

 

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