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Thousands sign petition as siblings fight eviction from late dad's home

Bethany and Logan Hills are fighting to stay in their home after the death of their dad Stuart
Bethany and Logan Hills are fighting to stay in their home after the death of their dad Stuart

NEARLY 3,000 people have signed a petition to stop a Christchurch woman and her six-year-old brother being evicted from their late father’s home.

Bethany Hills (23) and her younger sibling Logan want to continue living in the Hunt Road property that had been home to their dad, Stuart, for more than 20 years.

As reported in the A&T, the 44-year-old self-employed gas heating engineer passed away suddenly in his sleep in July last year.

However, the owners of the home, Sovereign Housing Association, plan to evict the pair who have enlisted solicitors Frettens for help.

That has set up a showdown at Bournemouth County Court on Tuesday 13th April.

Yesterday (Thursday) the petition supporting Bethany’s cause had reached more than 2,800 signatures.

Speaking to the A&T, she hit out at Sovereign – which she said had been “awful” – despite her clearing her dad’s rent arrears and paying the rent and bills up to date and on time.

“I’m just so desperate to keep my dad’s home as a safe space for my six-year-old brother and I, but unfortunately Sovereign are not showing any compassion,” she told the A&T.

She accused Sovereign of failing to supply Stuart’s tenancy agreement, threatening to change the locks until her solicitor got involved, and refusing to take rent payments from her over the phone.

Bethany said she believed she should be allowed to stay under inherited property rights, but the matter now rested in the hands of the court.

Stuart Hills died in his sleep in July last year
Stuart Hills died in his sleep in July last year

“If the judge decides to rule in Sovereign’s favour, whether that be at the court hearing or at the later date, I will then have to leave the property but I’m unsure of the timescale they would give me,” she said.

The A&T put questions to Sovereign which replied with a statement.

Helen Hann, its regional director, said: “The health and wellbeing of our customers is always our top priority, and we are committed to providing homes for people that need them the most in our communities.

“This particular case is now a matter for the courts, with a hearing due to take place on 13th April, and we await the outcome of the court hearing before making any further comment.”

As reported in the A&T, Stuart had lived in the home for 23 years before he was found dead there last year when a concerned friend broke in to find him.

After his death there was an outpouring of tributes and condolences for Stuart, who was described as a “larger than life character” who always had time for everybody.

The petition is online at: https://www.change.org/p/sovereign-housing-association-help-us-keep-our-family-home?

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