A BEREAVED single mum whose fiancé died suddenly less than two years ago at just 41 is among the tenants being evicted from Lake House Close in Weaverham.

Sam Donlon, a full-time HR officer, moved there at Christmas 2022 with her three-year-old son, Jocob, after being asked to leave their previous home just three weeks after discovering her partner dead there.

The 43-year-old felt lucky to get their Lake House Close apartment as it was within budget, and close to their old family home.  

“With the fact Jacob had just lost his daddy, I didn’t want to change things for him too much,” said Sam.

“At the very least, I didn’t want him to have to switch nurseries.”

Northwich Guardian: Sam (left) with some of the other Lake House Close tenants facing no-fault eviction, with Weaver Vale MP, Mike Amesbury (front, centre) Sam (left) with some of the other Lake House Close tenants facing no-fault eviction, with Weaver Vale MP, Mike Amesbury (front, centre) (Image: Mike Amesbury)

Mum and son were living as best they could at Lake House Close until a no-fault eviction notice landed on their door mat from their new landlord, Cedar Care Company, on March 12.

Cedar Care bought their homes from the now liquidated ‘social’ landlord Lotus Group in March 2023, and Sam's not considered ‘vulnerable’ enough to go on living there under the new landlord’s operating model.

Sam had been approached before about moving out voluntarily, but told Cedar Care Group it would have been impossible, and begged to be allowed to stay.

She thought her appeals had been accepted, and believed she and Jacob had a secure roof over their heads, until the eviction notice landed on her doormat.

She added: “I was gutted to be perfectly honest. We were asked in August 2023 to move out, and were told we’d get a month’s rent knocked off and our deposits back, no questions asked.

“I said I just couldn’t do that. It wasn’t feasible on my own with a two-year-old and working full time.

“I sent them an email begging them not to kick me out. Financially and mentally, I wouldn’t have been able to cope.

“I still struggle with PTSD from finding Jay at home, and having to do CPR with my son there, and failing to bring him back.

“It all went quiet after that. I honestly thought they’d reconsidered.

“Then the eviction notice came through the door, hand delivered. I just knew as soon as I saw it.

“We really like it here. When we viewed it, it was clean, tidy, and not too far from what we knew.

“We feel safe here, and the rent is something I can afford.

“I’m on the council list now, but that takes time. We’re supposed to be out of here in a couple of weeks.

“I’ve been viewing private rentals, but the prices are through the roof, and when I’ve been going to viewings, there are people queuing up to view them.

Same and Jacob don’t have much of a support network locally as they moved to the area from Stockport for her late-husband’s job when Sam was on maternity leave having their son.

“My family is back up in Stockport, so it’s hard for them to help," she added.

“I just wish Cedar Care Group could take a step back and look at the human side of what they’re doing, and not just see it from a business perspective.

“These are our homes. We’re more than just figures on a spreadsheet.

“There’s no empathy there whatsoever. Some of my elderly neighbours have been here for many, many years.

“It’s all very hard.”

A Cedar Care spokesman said: “We discovered the site was not being used for its intended purpose of providing social or supported housing by the previous provider.

“Noting this utilisation is the key criterion for the block’s funding, we had to undertake a decant program here.

“After doing the required remedial refurbs, we can re-let it to support eligible tenants.

“We do realise a few tenants are vulnerable considering their old age.

“We will approach Cheshire West and Chester Council for approval on the retention of these residents under the supported housing provision.”