A mum forced to leave a home in Tooting has described her new living situation as like “Groundhog Day”.
The 46-year-old was nearly evicted from a flat she was renting in South London yesterday (Thursday, November 11), however, bailiffs were denied entry by a group of protestors.
Lisa Johnson and her 17-year-old son were subsequently moved to temporary accommodation in Elephant and Castle, but upon arrival found the property “damp and smelly”, with mould in the bathroom and exposed flooring in the hallway.
READ MORE: Mum, 46, and autistic son, 17, ‘saved from eviction by protestors’ as bailiffs come and go
Ms Johnson, who is on Universal Credit, told MyLondon she had to drop out of a college course because of the move – and has spent the last two days “packing and unpacking, over and over again”.
She said: “My son is going to be 18 in two weeks. Imagine being 18 in a place like this.
“I am a pawn in the middle of this vicious game. It’s been a really difficult situation.
“I’m scared. I’m having to fight my case all the time. We have to fight. If we don’t fight we’ve got nothing. I don’t want to live like this. I can’t better myself like this.”
A spokesperson for Wandsworth Council confirmed workmen had been dispatched to the property to fix its “minor issues” – and that Ms Johnson was “satisfied” with the outcome.
Workmen were present at the property when Ms Johnson spoke to MyLondon; and she confirmed they were installing a smoke alarm, regrouting the bathroom, replacing the fridge, and repainting the walls in her son’s bedroom.
“The council clearly has the money, because they afford this, but they need to look at properties before taking them on,” she said. “They need to treat people fairly.”
Ms Johnson said the last few days have taken their toll on family life and is calling on councils to “wake up be on the side” of tenants in cases like hers.
“A lot of people are living in places like this and accepting this standard of living,” she said.
“They feel like they have no right to open their mouths. It’s like they say – beggars can’t be choosers.
“I really don’t know how to go forward with it, you know? It’s very difficult. Every day is like Groundhog Day.”
A spokesperson for Wandsworth said: “We inspected the property today in the presence of Ms Johnson, who was consulting her ward councillor via video call, and the landlord in which a number of minor issues were identified that the landlord has agreed will be put right today (Friday).
“Ms Johnson asked that the mattress and kitchen fridge be removed as she has her own she would rather use. The repairs are minor and do not make the property unsuitable as temporary accommodation.
“Ms Johnson and her councillor appeared to be satisfied with this outcome and she has contact details of our temporary accommodation team if she has any further concerns she wishes to raise.”
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