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While we were at the shops, we were locked out of our house

A COUPLE who were left out of the shops say they have been homeless for two years.

Shane Dyson, 43, now lives on the streets of Croydon, London, with his wheelchair-bound partner of 30 years Annmarie McDonagh, 50.

Shane Dyson and Annmarie McDonagh are homeless in CroydonCredit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon
They have experienced violence while living on the streets, including Shane being stabbed in the eyeCredit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon
Annmarie lost a leg after a botched operationCredit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon

Shane worked as a satellite installer but became Annmarie’s full-time caregiver when she started using the wheelchair three years ago.

Annmarie had gone to hospital with stomach ulcers, only to discover she had brain aneurysms and blood poisoning.

She had to go under the knife, but Shane said the surgeon cut an artery, meaning they had to remove a leg.

The pair suffered horrific violence while living on the streets, which they say was not their fault, according to MyLondon.

Shane also lost his eye about two years ago after being stabbed in the face and also lost the use of his hand when a gang threw acid at him while he slept.

They have not always been homeless, but their disabilities have exacerbated their problems.

Five years ago they lived with Annmarie’s mother in the neighborhood, but when she died they lost the house.

Two years ago, they found a temporary community center run by Caridon Property, which worked for Annmarie’s wheelchair needs.

But five months after moving in, they returned from the shops to find they had been locked out and not allowed back in.

He said: “(The eviction) just came out of nowhere, it was a shock. They told us to come back and to let you take us, but they never did.”

Our town hall move after 4 years of being homeless turned out horrible due to rats, mold and old toilet paper used as insulation

While living on the streets, the pair faced serious violence, including beating up thugs wearing a boxing glove.

“We try to stay away from all the other homeless people because they are always fighting and trying to kill each other. Croydon is a very dangerous place. It’s really scary, especially at night.”

They also say their IDs are regularly stolen, making it impossible to collect medicines or fill out documents.

Shane said the couple were never given a reason as to why they were evicted and now the council denies they were ever tenants of the property.

“We have spoken to a few people on Council about housing and they have said we need to find the property. We don’t have access to the internet and we’re not good readers and writers, it’s just hard.”

A volunteer called Avril told MyLondon she believes the council made a mistake in their eviction.

Avril said the council would show her around by social workers as she tried to arrange suitable accommodation.

She said when an MP tried to help with the problem, the council said the pair did not exist in the system.

A spokesperson for Caridon said: “It is important to clarify that whilst Caridon Property Ltd manages a number of flats in the building, the specific unit in question is let to the council for temporary emergency accommodation.

“The said couple were residents licensed to live with the council as landlords, not Caridon Property Ltd.

“The decision to end their accommodation was made by the council almost two years ago, and following the cancellation of their placement they were given a two-week extension to allow them time to collect their belongings.”

Croydon Council was contacted for comment.

What are your deportation rights?

According to housing organization Shelter, landlords and letting agents must follow the correct procedures to evict tenants.

Currently, landlords must give you 14 days’ notice before giving you an eviction notice.

After you have received this deportation notice, you have two months before legal proceedings can be initiated against you.

After this period, your landlord has four months to take you to court.

But it is an illegal eviction if your landlord or someone else acting on his behalf:

  • forces you to leave by threatening or harassing you
  • kicks you out or uses physical force to make you leave
  • prevents you from entering parts of your home
  • changes the locks while you are away

If your landlord takes you to court, you may also be held liable for part of the costs

Charities such as Shelter and Citizens Advice may also be able to provide some help.

Legal aid can also help if you have a serious housing problem.

If you receive benefits or have a low income, you can receive the following:

  • telephone advice from civil legal advice
  • an appointment with a legal advisor or lawyer
  • assistance with a possession hearing by a court advisor

You can also get help stopping or delaying an eviction, legal action for mortgage foreclosure and illegal eviction, and harassment.

The pair had a town hall that suited Annmarie, but were evicted for no reason, Shane saidCredit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon
They regularly see their ID stolen, making it difficult to obtain medication or fill out applicationsCredit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon