A young family claim they have been taken advantage of by a Hastings caravan park after being kicked out with little warning or compassion.
Luke and Hayley Destin are fighting Park Holidays UK after being evicted from their Beauport Holiday Park caravan on September 14, they believe unlawfully.
The family, with eight-month-old baby Cassius and daughter Lois, 11, were turfed out for not keeping up with bills, despite efforts to do so after labourer Mr Destin was hit by a car in April.
Park Holidays said it has done nothing wrong but the Destins believe they have been led a merry dance by the park which can do what it likes with no governing body.
“[Park Holidays] has 25 to 26 parks all over the country and it is taking advantage of all the people in that position, including us,” Mrs Destin said.
“Our neighbours are too scared to stand up to them as they don’t want to get chucked off the park.
“They feel sorry for me and everything but what I really need is for them to stand with me.”
Before it came to eviction, which the family disputes as they were not given an official eviction notice, they tried to set up a payment plan with a debt recovery firm as they were told they owed £4,000.
Mr Destin paid around £400 to the firm but was then told no plan would be accepted and he had to pay in full, which he could not do.
Park bosses turned off the family’s utilities on September 13, leaving a baby with no hot water, so they called the police who made the owners turn it back on.
But the same thing happened the next day and the Destins were told they would be escorted out if they had not gone that evening.
The family argue the park regularly increases fees, does not abide by its guidelines and was duped into thinking it was okay to live there as it is ‘95 per cent residential’.
“When we were clearing out the caravan, Lois found a welcome card we were given when we arrived, inside it says, ‘I hope your new home brings you many, many years of happiness.’
“It just shows how much they grovel and make you feel special.”
A Park Holidays spokesman said it acted ‘entirely in accordance with the terms of the contract agreed with and signed by’ the Destins, and it is made clear to all buyers caravans are for leisure use only, not residential purposes.
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