A Brighton agent has expressed concern that may have been misrepresented when local paper The Argus reported earlier this week that it had been picketed by protesters over an eviction notice served to a tenant.
The Argus reported that Beverly Bishop, who had lived at the rented property in Brighton for almost two years with her teenage daughter had been served with an eviction notice by Wilkinsons Estate Agents and the landlords despite her wanting to stay on for another 12 months.
She told the paper that the property was damp-riddled and had affected the health of her daughter.
Bishop turned to tenants campaign group Acorn for help and they arranged a protest outside the agency last weekend.
EYE has since received comment from the agent to provide their side of the story.
Tina Burtenshaw, lettings manager for Wilkinsons Estate Agents, said: “We, as a company, are committed to ensuring that our landlords are kept aware of their obligations both contractually and under statute and take all necessary steps to ensure compliance.
“We are of course concerned about this particular issue; however we feel that the matter may have been misrepresented and are grateful for the opportunity to address this.”
She said the tenant commenced her tenancy on September 19, 2016 and was sent a renewal tenancy on December 14, 2017 for a further fixed term period of six months effective from February 19, 2018.
The tenancy agreement was not returned by the tenant despite being chased and therefore it was deemed to have become a statutory periodic tenancy.
However, the tenant then handed back the tenancy agreement in March 2018, Burtenshaw said.
She added: “In April the landlord decided that he may consider selling the property and notice under Section 21 was served.
“The tenant verbally objected in the strongest possible terms to being served the notice and our office was visited by a representative of Acorn when the only member of staff present was a very junior negotiator.
“In the meantime, the landlord agreed to allow the renewed tenancy to stand even though it was handed back late, and the notice was rescinded.
“There has been an ongoing issue with damp and condensation dating from before the renewal tenancy was discussed and the landlord has had a considerable amount of work carried out both to the exterior and interior of the property.
“The decoration work has been agreed and will take place once the plaster has dried out, with the tenant being given a dehumidifier to facilitate this.”