Crawley man served eviction notice after rent increase: Petition raised to fight against the ‘unjust eviction’

A resident from Ifield has been supported by friends and neighbours in challenging the Section 21 eviction notice imposed on him by his landlord.
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Richard W. Symonds, 69, of Ifield Street, protested against the eviction notice on his flat that he has been living in for seven years. The property was first rented by Richard’s late mother and he moved in to become his mother's carer after she had a fall.

The notice has caused him to be ‘shocked, angry and anxious, not by the rent increase itself - that is to be expected - but by the sheer scale of it. I would have to find an additional £275 a month from somewhere I know not where’.

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The estate agents and landlord gave their views on the situation, which you can read here.

Richard W. Symonds, 69, of Ifield StreetRichard W. Symonds, 69, of Ifield Street
Richard W. Symonds, 69, of Ifield Street

Mr Symonds now has the support from the Ifield community and a petition has been created to prevent his forced removal by the landlord.

A spokesperson from The Friends and Supporters of Richard Symonds group said: “We, the undersigned, are writing to support Richard Symonds in his fight against unjust eviction from his Ifield home.

“Last week, Mr Symonds was told that his rent was to increase by £275 a month - an unrealistic and unfair increase of 33%. Mr Symonds offered what he could afford: an extra £100 a month - still a very substantial increase of 12%.

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“A few days later, however, the landlord served a Section 21 notice of eviction, claiming:

“With the current economic climate, it is not financially viable for us to continue letting the property at a rental value that is below the proposed rental figure.”

“So a tenant paying a lower, affordable rent for seven years because he was unable to pay more, is suddenly expected to pay so-called market rent? During a cost-of-living crisis, how can this treatment be just, compassionate, or even legal?

“More shocking: his landlord is the Church; the same organisation that published a 2021 Report - 'Coming Home' - highlighting the crisis in the availability of truly affordable housing, and telling us that “as a nation, we must also do more to provide safer and more stable homes for people who rent their homes by ensuring long term security of tenure, introducing an explicit duty of care on landlords."