Son’s fight to keep his home after mother’s death

Patrick Monaghan who, for months, has been living with the threat of eviction from his home of 40 years.
Patrick Monaghan who, for months, has been living with the threat of eviction from his home of 40 years.
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A LEGAL row has broken out after a son was told he faces eviction from his home of 40 years following the death of his mother.

Patrick Monaghan today told the Echo: “Everything I have is here. I don’t want to leave.”

Mr Monaghan grew up living in Closeburn Square, Mill Hill, Sunderland, with mum Laura.

After Laura’s death, Mr Monaghan was entitled to succeed the tenancy into his name.

But instead he was told he must leave the three-bedroom Gentoo house for a smaller property.

Now, the 55-year-old has launched a legal challenge in the hopes of being allowed to stay in his family home.

He said: “I’ve been told I’m not entitled to a three-bedroom house because I’m now living alone.

“But this has been all I’ve known for 40 years. I’ve kept it in fantastic condition, spent a lot of money on it and I’m not in any rent arrears.

“Everything I have is here. The neighbours, my friends; I even have my pigeons – 100 of them – in the back garden but now I’ve been told I have to leave.

“I don’t understand because when my mum was alive, there were just two of us living in a three-bedroom house anyway.”

Mr Monaghan was due to be evicted from his semi-detached home on Monday but, after appearing at Sunderland County Court to explain his case, a judge decided to suspend the action until his medical records were assessed. He is arguing health problems prevent him from moving to a two-bedroom property he has been offered in Cambridge Road, Silksworth.

His current home is packed with his – and his mother’s – lifelong possessions and he fears moving to another home will mean he will have to get rid of many of them.

Mr Monaghan added: “This has really taken its toll on me and I recently spent five days in hospital.”

Nicola Fullarton, Patrick’s solicitor from BenHoareBell solicitors, said: “Mr Monaghan’s eviction was due to take place on April 28. This has been suspended upon our application to the court in order for further medical inquiries.

“All efforts are being made to ensure that Mr Monaghan does not become homeless as a result of these proceedings.”

Michelle Meldrum, managing director at Gentoo Operations, said: “Mr Monaghan is entitled to succeed the tenancy. However, if this arrangement does not maximise best use of the property, Gentoo do reserve the right to offer alternative, more suitable accommodation.

“In this particular case, the property is a six-person, three-bedroom home and the customer is a single occupier.

“There is significant demand for this property type from families who require a larger home.

“Mr Monaghan has been offered five alternative properties, including a smaller house in his preferred area of choice. This is a difficult situation. However, we have a responsibility to make best use of properties within our ownership for all concerned.”