A WWII veteran who lived in the same house for 89 years has won his battle with a bullying landlord … over a skip.
Frail and nearly blind Lewis Banfield, 91, was traumatised after being torpedoed off Normandy during D-Day and lived a quiet life in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
But the ex-Royal Navy sailor found himself at the centre of a dispute for £500 after finally left his lifelong house and moved into a care home last year.
His family hired a skip to clear out the shed at his old home and agreed with landlords Aster Living to share the costs.
Niece Elaine Sharp said the contents of the shed only filled a third of the skip and Aster carried on using it as they went on to strip out the kitchen and bathroom.
But she said the company then got heavy-handed and tried to demand £500 from Mr. Banfield for the continued hire of the skip.
They sent him letters threatening court action for non-payment which caused the pensioner stress and anxiety.
Relatives and staff at the care home joined forces and called in the Housing Ombudsman who has now ruled in Mr. Banfield’s favour and told Aster to pay up.
Mrs Sharp and her family are delighted at the result and but unhappy the dispute ever happened.
Before the settlement she said: “Shame on you Aster Living for this unwarranted threat of court action.
“A family that has always paid its rent for 89 years is not one who is trying to cheat the system, rather it is the principle at stake that prevents us from paying up and shutting up.”
She added: “My uncle was certainly one of the oldest residents of the village.
“He returned home after serving in the Royal Navy during the war to live out his life quietly due to the trauma of being torpedoed just off the Normandy beaches after D-Day.”
Aster said: “Following a review of this case we can now confirm that it has been resolved.”