London

Self-styled 'knight' evicted from London council flat

A self-styled knight has been evicted from a council flat in north London after an investigation found he owned four homes across England.

"Sir" Barry Brooks, 47, was ordered to leave the two-bedroomed property in Primrose Hill after breaking his tenancy agreement, Camden Council said.

Mr Brooks, who bought his "knighthood" online, moved into the flat in 1998.

He was ordered to pay rent arrears of £3,182 and costs of about £9,500 at a county court hearing in June.

The council said Mr Brooks had been allocated the flat after telling officials he was homeless.

Private plates

Under the terms of the tenancy agreement a tenant cannot own a property that can reasonably be considered a home.

Suspicions were raised when council officers saw two Jaguar cars, a gold XKR sport and a silver XJS, with personalised number plates parked outside a detached property in Bromley, south-east London.

An investigation revealed Mr Brooks owned two houses in Bromley, a property in Exmouth, Devon, and a house in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, valued at about £700,000.

When council workers turned up at the flat on 26 August, to evict Mr Brooks, it was clear no-one had been living there for some time as a significant amount of post had built up behind the door.

David Padfield, the council's assistant director for housing management, said: "This kind of abuse of council homes is completely unacceptable.

"Camden Council will always take action against those who take homes away from the people who really need them."

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