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Homeless couple from Chatham living in Audi following Section 21 notice

A couple have been forced to live in their car after becoming homeless.

Friday Quick was renting a property in Chatham with her two sons in March when they were served a Section 21 – a so-called no-fault eviction notice which allow landlords to evict a tenant without giving a reason.

They were told the landlord's situation had changed and he may need to sell the house in Vale Drive on Davis Estate.

The family were given until July 8 to move out which her sons did but she was unable to find somewhere.

Her partner Richard Warrior moved in with her and the pair constantly applied for flats through the council, privately and were put on multiple waiting lists.

They kept being turned down due to their financial situation and lack of a guarantor and by October 27 they were evicted – and made homeless.

Friday said: "I have never had a Section 21 before so did not know the process. I went to Citizens' Advice for help.

"I was given a housing officer. My sons moved out and one made their own housing application to the council.

Friday Quick and Richard Warrior have been living in their car
Friday Quick and Richard Warrior have been living in their car

"I could not get a house as I did not meet the criteria. The fact we are homeless should be criteria enough. It has been a bit of a hellish few months."

With nowhere left to turn, the pair were forced to live in their car – where Richard had previously been living.

The couple have been in the Audi for more than a week with only blankets, pillows, medication and a few appliances they cannot even use.

They have been paying for a storage locker to house most of their possessions but this is becoming increasingly unaffordable.

They sleep by putting a blanket up to block out light from the front window and then lay the front seats back covered in pillows and blankets.

The car is parked up overnight where they they can find a spot and they use public toilets and service stations to wash.

What does a Section 21 mean?
What does a Section 21 mean?

The mum-of-two said: "It is degrading. It is the simple things like going to the toilet.

"We have been living off sandwiches, crisps and fruit so we are not starving. We have just bought a flask so we can have hot water.

"We had fish and chips the other day as a treat. It was the first hot meal we had had since we were evicted."

Richard, 49, added: "Where we are living is not safe, we do not feel safe when we are sleeping.

"We are going to start losing that locker soon. That is all her possessions, we would lose them. All her life is in that storage locker.

"It is degrading. When we look at what we had and what we have now got."

The couple's sleeping surrounded by pillows and blankets in the front seats
The couple's sleeping surrounded by pillows and blankets in the front seats

They have both continued to look for places to live but say they are stuck in a continual cycle of obstacles and cannot see a way out. Since March, they have looked at more than 50 homes.

They have been speaking with Medway Council and estate agents to secure a property but each time they are met with disappointment.

Friday said many landlords will not take them on due to paying for the deposit and first months rent through a Private Rented Sector (PRS) Scheme.

PRS is a council programme which helps people secure privately rented accommodation by providing support to those having difficulty with their finances or threatened with homelessness.

Both are currently unemployed – although Richard is going down to the job centre regularly – and receive benefits so they cannot afford to put down a payment without the council's help.

Richard was working as a fencer but was let go due to lack of available work while Friday has been out of work for two years due to her health.

Their boot is filled with appliances they cannot use
Their boot is filled with appliances they cannot use

All the income they get goes towards food, petrol, car tax and insurance.

Friday, 50, said: "It is like a kick in the teeth. I never thought I would be in this situation. It is so frustrating. I am really not coping with it."

Dad-of-four Richard added: "We just want somewhere safe to live that is all we are asking for. We just want a place we can call home and just enjoy our lives."

Although not able to speak on their case specifically, Medway Council explained the support it offers to people who find themselves homeless.

A spokesman said: "We are committed to helping Medway’s residents who have nowhere to live.

They put a blanket up over the front window to block out some light
They put a blanket up over the front window to block out some light

"We commission a range of accommodation and support for people with nowhere to live and work with a range of partners in the private and social housing sectors to help prevent residents from becoming homeless, this includes providing financial support.

"In line with national guidance, residents can also apply to be on our housing register. We assess everyone’s circumstances and prioritise those with greater housing needs; this includes people who are homeless or have medical needs.

"We would encourage anyone who is homeless, or who is at risk of becoming homeless to visit Kingsley House in Gillingham to access the specialist advice and support available to them."

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