Man faces eviction from childhood home hes lived in for 66 years

A man who faces eviction from his childhood home of 66 years has been told to clean up or leave the property in 28 days.

Ken May has lived in the council house in Gateshead since 1955 but now could be forced to leave after a county court judge heard allegations over "dangerous" items and mess at the property.

The 67-year-old has been battling for the past month over the state of his home, which he claims to have made improvements too.

However, Mr May says his progress to make the necessary improvements has been hampered by his limited access to electricity.

Speaking to ChronicleLive, Mr May said: "I have complied to the best of my ability with the promises I gave to this court.

"I have reduced to zero my arrears, I have cleared up the house – I have de-cluttered it. I have photographic evidence of some of the things I have thrown away that have been collected by the council."

Mr May, who claims the eviction breaches his human rights, has also tidied the garden, including trimming his hedges and a neighbour's hedges.

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The court heard how due to no electricity or gas, Mr May powers his home using car batteries that are charged up by a petrol generator.

A housing worker said using the generator to charge the batteries was dangerous and the court heard how Mr May stored fuel, which could lead to an "explosion".

During the cross-examination, solicitor Shada Mellor, representing Gateshead Council, told the court that the reason Mr May’s electricity had been disconnected was that the supplier found out he was by-passing the meter.

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She also said Mr May had not always allowed staff to inspect his home.

However, Mr May said the reason was that he was not comfortable letting people in his home during the coronavirus pandemic.

On making the possession order, District Judge Charnock-Neal said: "Storing fuel including petrol and Calor gas could cause danger. He failed to keep his home neat, tidy and clean, evidenced from photos I have seen from 2018-2021.

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"He failed to dispose of rubbish left in his shed, lean to, and garden. In contrast to the claimant the defendant offered limited evidence.

"His reason for not offering entry to the property was his age. He offered no medical evidence that he was shielding."

Mr May now has 28 days to leave the property or provide evidence he has cleaned up to apply for the eviction proceedings to be halted.

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