Family’s joy after winning battle to stay in own home

Annmarie Hanbury with her son Kian
Annmarie Hanbury with her son Kian

A WIGAN family has won a year-long battle to stay in their Wigan council house.

Alan Hanbury, his wife Annmarie, and their disabled five-year-old son Kian were told that they were being evicted from their home on Warrington Lane, Scholes, last summer.

It had previously been occupied by Alan’s father, John, who had just passed away. Earlier in 2013, the family had moved in to look after the 83-year-old who needed extra care.

Just one day before John’s funeral, a letter from Wigan and Leigh Housing dropped through the door, informing Alan and Annmarie that the tenancy on the property would end four weeks later and, despite their application to stay on in the house which had had Hanbury family members as tenants for 50 years, it was to be put up for everyone to apply.

The Hanburys had already given up their previous home to care for John but Wigan and Leigh Housing stood firm.

At the time the authority apologised for the timing of the letter but said that following a tenant’s death it was a legal requirement to send a letter giving four weeks’ notice of the end of the tenancy.

But the Hanburys did not give in and took the matter to the county court.

And before Friday’s hearing the council suddenly offered them the tenancy and was then ordered by the judge to pay the additional legal costs during the hearing.

Annemarie said: “We went to Stephenson’s solicitors and they helped us brilliantly to secure the tenancy.

“We’ve been granted secure tenancy now and we’re really happy with this decision, mainly for my son, who has autism, because we can now start getting him back into his routine again.

“It’s been an extremely stressful 14 months so we’re all relieved it’s all over now and we can move on.

“We were handed the notice the day before the funeral which was horrific.

“We just want to let people know that even if they are told that they have no chance like we were, things like this are still worth pursuing.”