Havering Council has admitted it has 88 families it hasn't moved into alternative homes, with another homeowner revealing his anger at the authority for not giving his property back.

The council is using properties spread across the borough to accommodate tenants but says there is a lack of other options available.

The Recorder recently reported on the case of pensioner Alan Pomfret, who said the council has refused for more than two years to give back two houses he had leased to the authority.

Now another family has come forward claiming they too have faced a similar situation.

Online tutor Paul Boulton claimed: ”The council is playing hot potato, passing it between them and getting nothing done.

“They are refusing to give it (our property) back.”

The council has admitted it has 88 families it is trying to find alternative homes for whilst meeting the demand for housing homeless families.

The Boultons, from Rise Park in Romford, originally bought a house in Archway, Harold Hill, partly from the money they had been left from a deceased family member, believing it would be a safe investment.

They leased the property to Havering Council eight years ago.

Romford Recorder: Alan Pomfret also spoke out on the issueAlan Pomfret also spoke out on the issue (Image: James Weatherup)

The couple have two teenage children and thought any extra income earned from the property might fund the costs of university education and eventually help their children get on the property ladder.

But after a succession of interest rate hikes, they realised their dream investment was more like a millstone around their necks and needed to sell up.

Despite giving the council notice more than six months ago, they say they are no closer to getting their bricks and mortar back.

Paul, 46, claimed the council is not abiding with an agreement which said they could get the house back if they gave three months notice.

He said: "They have been using it and putting tenants in it for the last eight years. But now we are getting the brush off. It’s causing us great stress and worry. It is affecting our mental health.

“We have a mortgage on the house and this is now costing us a lot of money.

"I fully understand there are tenants in the property, but it is up to the council to re-house them elsewhere and give us our property back.

“It is not like we are rich and have 100 properties on our books. This was meant to be a little nest egg for our children when they grow up but it has turned into a poisoned chalice."

In the case of Mr Pomfret, the council says it has now identified alternative accommodation for the tenants in both of his properties and are beginning the handover process.

A spokesperson for Havering Council said: ”As with Mr Pomfret's case, we fully sympathise with the situation the Boultons are in and we are working hard to secure alternative accommodation for the tenants.

"We will continue to work with them and the tenants at his property to reach a satisfactory outcome for all involved as quickly as possible."

They claimed that the backlog of families it is trying to find alternative homes for is a problem being experienced by many other councils.

It says it is due to a lack of temporary accommodation, with the spokesperson adding: "We are working to develop more properties urgently needed with our joint venture programme with Wates, with schemes such as New Green and Park Rise already available."

The authority is also working with council-owned housing firm Mercury Land Holdings to provide more 'affordable' council properties for residents.

"In short, the hike in mortgage rates brought about by central government policies is influencing private owners deciding to leave the private sector leasing scheme which adds further pressure to the housing crisis, where demand for homes is far outstripping the current supply across the UK."