Rainham dad facing eviction appeals for compassion from Havering Council

Josh Pavett has urged Havering Council to be more compassionate as it begins eviction proceedings ag

Josh Pavett has urged Havering Council to be more compassionate as it begins eviction proceedings against him. - Credit: Josh Pavett

A family man who is facing eviction has urged the council and its officers to be more compassionate.

Last week Josh Pavett, 23, Cowper Road Rainham, received a letter from Havering Council advising him court action was being sought to repossess his home.

Mr Pavett found himself in financial difficulty when his claim for housing benefit was stopped as he was unable to prove his income.

“They [the council] wanted me to prove that I wasn’t working but my P45 from my last job was sent to my old address so I couldn’t,” he said.

The father-of-two said he had been training to become a Met Police officer but after failing an exam twice, was unable to continue.

Rather than sign on for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), he says he persistently sought alternative employment but was unsuccessful.

“I wanted to get back into work instantly,” he continued.

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“I have never sat down and not worked. February to July was the most depressing time of my life. I have two children to look after and I couldn’t find work.

“I was diagnosed with depression and am now on tablets.”

In August, he relented and began a joint claim for JSA with his partner Alison Rogers but by then rent arrears had mounted.

Mr Pavett said through his JSA he was making fortnightly repayments and when he started working in December hoped to continue making regular payments.

“I thought I could make fortnightly payments, but I could only make them monthly. We asked them to pay monthly and were told no.

“Then I got a letter on February 1 saying they were going to take me to court for reposession of the house.

“I couldn’t put into words how I felt receiving that letter.”

But a spokeswoman for Havering Council said: “We emailed him on January 3, asking for documentation to Housing Benefit so the claim could be reassessed.

“No documentation was provided. We had also asked that fortnightly payments be made to the rent account, but no payments have been received.

“In the circumstances the case was referred for court action.”

Mr Pavett said he made a payment in January of £96 from his first paycheck.

“They need to show compassion,” he continued.

“Everybody has independent circumstances. At the moment they are coming up as the enemy – we don’t want to deal with them when they should be the people we want to deal with.

“Sometimes it’s like talking to a robot, there’s no compassion.”

The spokeswoman said: “The council has provided support to the family, however, if tenants do not pay rent or facilitate the payment of rent, unfortunately, the council has no option but to take legal proceedings.”