LONDON: A 43-year-old Indian-origin teacher in the UK has sold her home, which has a market value of 250,000 pounds, for a token of mere 2 pounds to ensure that she cannot be evicted from the property.
Rekha Patel has been locked in a feud with her neighbour over some building work dating back six years on the home. She spent 200,000 pounds buying the dilapidated two-bedroom cottage in 2010 in Simmondley village in Glossop and turning it into her dream home.
A court order had directed that the home be sold to recover legal fees and costs of around 76,000 pounds.
“I realised I will have more rights as a tenant than the owner so I decided to sever all legal ties with the house in order to live in peace in my own home,” she told Press Trust of India.
She sold the home, built in the early 18th century, to two private companies recently and has signed a 10-year tenancy agreement with them to carry on living in the property for a monthly rent of 50 pounds.
“I had tried everything possible and had no other choice. There are proper agreements in place with the two private companies and these are people I trust. The people of this village have been absolutely lovely. Many have taken days off work to come out and support me,” she said.
Ms Patel, who was born in the UK to an Indian family from Navsari in Gujarat, got embroiled in a dispute with her next door neighbour over some roof stones that got damaged during renovation work on the two-bedroom house, which has a market value of 250,000 pounds.
The dispute landed in court, which ordered Ms Patel to pay damages and legal costs to her neighbour. While she paid part of the amount, Ms Patel disputes the remaining bill imposed on her.
She was evicted from her home in June last year over non-payment but re-entered a month later and has since been fighting against a court order for her home to be sold. She applied for the legal bill to be quashed by Manchester County Court last week.
“I feel the justice system needs to be fairer and accessible to everyone. I want to now put this entire matter behind me and move on. I want to travel to India and try and work on a book that would help educate others who get caught in a similar situation of being scared out of their own homes,” said the maths teacher, who works at Glossopdale Community College in Glossop.
“Forgiveness is the way forward. It is between her and her conscience, she knows what she did was not right,” she said, in reference to her neighbour.