Anguish of family being told to leave their home

Teresa Cater, The Bungalow, Bell Lane Smalley.

Teresa Cater, The Bungalow, Bell Lane Smalley.

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A FAMILY told to buy or move by their mining company landlord claim they have not received any help relocating – despite promises from the company.

The Cater family, who have lived on Bell Lane, in Smalley, for ten years, were given six weeks notice to move out of their rented three-bedroom house by May 2.

Landlord UK Coal is selling the house and others in order to pay off some of its £243m debt.

The animal-loving family were promised help in finding new accommodation. However, UK Coal says it has offered tenants relocation support, but the family they have been offered no such support.

They were also told they would be given the chance to buy the property once it had been valued.

However, with less than a month to go before they have to leave, the family of three claim they have not received an offer inviting them to buy the property.

Dad Steve Cater, 44, said representatives from the letting agents and UK Coal have both made visits to the property but neither had offered them help relocating.

He said: “They just wanted to know what we are doing, I thought they might be able to offer us somewhere else to go or some compensation. They said they were going to help us but they have not.”

He said the family had received a letter saying they had to move and that they would get the chance to buy the property, but they had not been given a price. “Time is running out,” he said.

“How can they expect us to move if they haven’t helped us?”

At one time the family kept several dogs, a Kune Kune pig, pony, barn owl and a sheep at the property. They have spent thousands of pounds adapting the home to care for them.

Since receiving their notice to quit the house, the family have rehomed or put down many of their animals because they fear they would have been unable to cope with the move.

They say they have had no luck finding a new house and need more time to relocate.

A spokesperson from UK Coal said that it was ‘company policy not to discuss publicly individual cases’.

However, a press statement released by the company on March 21 did say: “If tenants dispute the notice period, then UK Coal will undertake a review judging each case on its merits and will act accordingly.” He said all the tenants involved had been offered ‘relocation support’.