David Wilkes and Nick Mcdermott, Daily Mail (London), January 13, 2010
With the building works nearly over, Julian and Samantha Mosedale and their three children were looking forward to moving back into the home of their dreams.
But their hopes have turned into a nightmare because a group of Romanians occupied the property over Christmas.
To add insult to injury, police told them that they were being ‘racist’ for questioning the squatters’ right to live in Britain on benefits.
The unwanted guests have changed the locks at the three-bedroom terrace house and moved in their own furniture.
Mr Mosedale, an illustrator, and his wife, a catalogue manager, both 45, had moved out of the house in Tottenham, North London, in July 2007 for extensive structural and renovation work.
They rented another property and regularly visited the £285,000 house to oversee progress.
But, after spending Christmas visiting relatives in Essex, they returned to the house on January 3 to find the squatters installed.
They now fear they could soon be homeless because they can only afford to foot the cost of rent and mortgage payments until March.
Mrs Mosedale, whose three sons are ten, eight, and five, said: ‘We called the police as soon as we found out they were in there. An officer suggested I was racist when I asked if they were Romanians, and did they have a legal right to be in this country.
‘We are hard-working citizens yet get treated like criminals when our home is stolen. This whole thing is making me feel constantly sick. All we want to do is get on with our lives.
‘We feel let down by the law, by government, and by the police, in fact all the authorities that one would expect to protect society.
‘The house had builders in it while the renovations were being done. It was only in the last couple of months that it was left completely empty.
‘Our lawyers don’t know how long it will take us to get them out and the stress is really getting to the whole family.
‘The kids are upset at the idea that other children are playing with their toys in the garden.
‘Our son Jake is old enough to understand what is going on and he is finding it difficult to sleep.
‘All the children are incredibly unsettled.’
Yesterday, the couple obtained a county court order giving the squatters 24 hours–until 2.15pm today–to leave.
But Mr Mosedale fears they will not give in easily.
He said: ‘When the papers were served on them they tore them up and threw them back at the guy who’d taken them round.’
He and his wife are also worried that a drawn-out battle would exhaust their savings. They had planned to move back into the house in March.
Mrs Mosedale said: ‘We were in the process of creating our dream home and it has been ruined.
‘At the moment there are at least four women, four children and one man living in our home, but neighbours said they have seen many more people going in and out.
‘In the meantime we face the prospect of becoming homeless ourselves, since we had only budgeted to pay both rent and our mortgage until mid March.’
Two sisters, Mihaela and Luminitsa Vaduva, are staying in the house with their seven children.
Speaking broken English, Luminitsa said: ‘I don’t understand the problem. We have paid for this home. If they move us out, then my children will not have a home.
‘We are from Romania, we have no money for another home.’
She showed a tenancy agreement but could not provide a contact number for the landlord or say when they had moved in.