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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Landlord blocks £1m home with 10 skips to stop tenants leaving 'without paying him thousands'

By Daily Mail Reporter

Dispute: Simon Everingham has used large skips to block off access to his home near Harrogate following a battle with his American tenants over alleged unpaid rent

A landlord has blocked off his plush £1m home with ten skips to stop his tenants from leaving without paying the £15,000 he claims they owe him.

Businessman Simon Everingham says he has been in a constant battle for £3,000-a-month rent since the occupants of his four-bedroom 18th century farmhouse in Markington, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire, fell behind with the payments last November.

He barricaded the American tenants Dan and Christina Herring in by blocking the drive on Monday and the fight to stop them leaving continued today.

Mr Everingham moves a sofa into place to block the moving team

They work at the controversial Menwith Hill U.S. spy base nearby but say they now need to return to the United States after Mr Herring found a new job.

Mr Everingham, 54, fears that if the family leave the country he will never get his money back.

He claims he is owed rent arrears, legal fees and interest payments.

He is also fending off the building society as a court hearing on May 6 at Harrogate County Court recorded a verdict hat the property, which he has owned for 22 years, will be repossessed in 56 days.

Speaking from the five-acre property, - which has an outdoor swimming pool - and contains an apartment where he and his wife Valerie, 52, live Mr Everingham said: 'The family have said they are going back to America and I fear that if they go back I will never see the money I am owed.

'I have blockaded the exits so they cannot go until I get the money. Every time the payments were late the mortgage company charged us. The charges amount to £6,000 alone. They also owe this month's rent and £6,000 in legal fees.'

The trouble accelerated today as scuffles broke out as Mr Everington tried to stop the Herrings from leaving the property.

The police and even fire service were called to the property and at one stage a fight broke out which led to two women grappling before falling into a bush.

The Herrings had employed 20 friends to take their belonging through neighbouring fields to a removal lorry.

The group could be seen moving objects of all sizes, including drawers, a dressing table, dining room table and even a piano.

They had previously attempted to get their things out by walking across a nearby stream after Mr Everington used four skips to block their way.

But after that attempt, the landowner ordered a further six to block an access road and has used mattresses and sofas to hinder them further.

Mr Everingham, continued: 'The family were bashing past us and there was nothing we could do as we couldn't legally stop them by using physical force'.

'When you get a family in who work at the local RAF base you think you have a blue chip family who are good security, but from day one they were never prompt payers,' he claimed.

'But in November last year, when their lease came up, they decided to renew for 31 months and I was delighted, I told them they had to start paying their rent on time but it got worse.'

From that point he says the Herrings stopped payments altogether. They promised payments in January but the money never transpired.

'It is not fair what they are doing to us, they are single-handedly bringing down everything we have worked hard for and I am not going to stand by and let that happen.

Helping out: The Herrings employed 20 of their friends to help move their belongings across the fields after the barricades were put in place by Mr Everingham

Mr Everingham was charging the Herrings £3,000-a-month rent to live in his four-bedroom 18th century farmhouse in Markington, near Harrogate

'I have never been in this position before and it is awful, nobody seems to be able to help us. I have been in touch with his employers, the local MP and even the Foreign Secretary.'

Mrs Herring said the trouble started when she told Mr Everingham last month that the family would be moving out of the luxury property.

She claims that Mr Everingham was so close with the family that her children called him and his wife 'Uncle' and 'Auntie'.

She said: 'When we told him we were leaving there was no reaction and then the next thing I knew he said we were going to be served with papers. That was the first mention of any legal issue.

She also says the landlord is claiming a total of £83,000 because they are leaving two years before the end of the lease.

She said: 'When we signed the lease we had no idea my husband would get a new job.

Now he has done, we have no legal right to remain in this country under the terms of the visa once his current job here has finished so we have to go.'

She added: 'He never had to go through this. I understand that he is upset he needs to find new tenants but blocking us in is too much.

'I had some friends over on Thursday and Friday to help pack some things ready for us to go but the first sign of us being blocked in was Monday. I heard a lot of banging and then saw the skips.'

Mrs Herring added: 'We have done everything absolutely above board.

'It has been really tough. This isn't how we imagined our last year.'



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