A 65-year-old man faces losing the home he has lived in since he was a baby because the bedroom tax left him in arrears, he has claimed.
Ken May could be booted out of his childhood home in Gateshead, after the controversial levy meant he fell £1,200 behind on rent payments following the death of his mum.
The charge is not levied on pensioners so Ken said he thinks his landlords Gateshead Housing Company are rushing through the eviction process before he starts collecting his pension next month, Chronicle Live reports.
He said: "I'm fighting a legal battle over the bedroom tax, but I'm due to reach state pension age in January and the bedroom tax wouldn't apply any more."
The bedroom tax, or “removal of the spare-room subsidy”, removes housing benefits from those who are deemed to have spare rooms.
For one spare room a tenant loses 14% and for two more rooms they lose a quarter of their benefit.
"They're trying to evict me before the pension comes in because I could be in the property for the next 20 years," Ken said.
"I've had this problem with the bedroom tax for three years and now they are trying to evict me."
The housing company dispute his claims saying he is in "clear breach" of his tenancy agreement and they have made several attempts to help him including a crisis talk last week which he refused to attend.
They also claim he has failed to follow their advice to help him keep his tenancy.
Ken, who has lived in the house since 1955, said he has had no power in the property for three years following a dispute with utility companies over his bills.
He said: "I've lived in this house since I was 18-months old, my mother died here, and I looked after her when she had cancer.
"If I get evicted I'll be on the streets at Christmas."
A spokeswoman for Gateshead Housing Company added that notice was served on Mr May because he was breaching his tenancy after several home visits and other discussions didn't resolve things.
"We have been speaking with Mr May since July 2019 to address the issue.
"Throughout our contact with Mr May we have tried to resolve the matter by several home visits and other discussions.
"In a further attempt to avoid legal action we visited Mr May last week to give him another opportunity to work with us, which he declined to do.
"In circumstances where tenants are in clear breach of their tenancy and they do not wish to follow advice or work with us then reluctantly we are in the position of having to take action to remedy matters.
"We served notice on Mr May following his breach of tenancy. The matter is scheduled to be heard by the court for the first time next week.
"We are more than willing to meet with Mr May at any time to look at how we can help."
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