“Hoodwinked” claim Trinity Court management team

Sidmouth homeless story triggers concerns over lease breaches

DIRECTORS of Sidmouth’s Trinity Court management company say they have been “hoodwinked” over the letting of a flat to a young, single mum.

Following Sidmouth Herald’s article last week about the eviction of Natalie Cann and her baby Danni, from a flat at Trinity Court, directors say the owner of the flat, chef Ian Corps, had been contacted “again” to explain the terms of the lease “and the fact he is not allowed to let out his property.”

Brian Taylor, a director of Trinity Court (Sidmouth) Management Ltd., issued a statement making it clear neither it nor its appointed management agent Hillsdon Management, had ever given permission for the property to be let.

They state: “Indeed, they are not in a position to grant such permission because this would be in clear breach of the lease conditions. These make it clear that properties within Trinity Court cannot be let.”

Only when the article set out the details of Natalie’s plight, did the management company realise she had been renting the flat.

They stated: “Both the flat owner and the person living there up until Tuesday, have been made aware of these conditions on several occasions.”

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They believed Natalie was related to the owner and was “using the property by private arrangement with no monies being paid while an attempt was made to sell it.”

This would be permissible under the lease.

“From your article this appears not to be the case and that we have all been hoodwinked,” said the directors.

“It looks like both parties have been in breach of the lease and we would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention.

“We of course feel sorry for the lady’s situation…it is our duty to confirm that there will be no replacement tenant because the lease does not allow it.”

The directors said they would take legal action if necessary.

Meanwhile Natalie and three-week-old Danni are sleeping on a sofa bed at her parent’s home in Sidmouth.

She said East Devon District Council was reconsidering her application for re-housing after officers were provided with information regarding advice she was given regarding withholding housing benefit from her landlord.

She decided against waiting for bailiffs to evict her and said: “I could have waited for a warrant for two weeks but I would have been charged and I can’t afford it.”

A spokeswoman for EDDC said: “Ms Cann has requested a review and a letter has been sent to her offering her a meeting with our housing needs manager on September 28.”

She said under the law, when councils make homelessness decisions, the applicant has a right to ask for a review of the decision, which must take place within 56 days of the request.