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Man forced to wash with bucket in garden as power cut off

The 36-year-old, who will only be known as Nick, says his gas and electricity have been cut off, meaning he is also unable to cook and lives mainly on cold or pre-prepared food. He said he had paid £500 a month in rent, including bills, to rent the agent’s virtual bedroom since moving into the shared house in Edgbaston last November. However, he said he stopped paying when the property lost power on July 19.

Nick claims he tried to contact the company, which on its website provides the location of the jeweler and a telephone number in Birmingham. He claimed he sent them pictures of letters from energy companies detailing the amount owed.

birmingham live Despite phone calls, emails and visits to her Jewelry District address, there has been no response from the company. Its website showed no properties for sale or rent when reporters viewed it on September 6, and neighboring businesses that shared addresses listed on its website said they had never heard of it. the company. Express Online also attempted to contact the Virtual Room by phone and email, but received no response.

Nick said his girlfriend left the house because there was no electricity and he was terrified of the approach of winter. He said his washing routine involves putting a bucket of cold water outside in the morning, then showering in the late afternoon after the water has been heated by the sun.

He also relies on a neighbor’s extension cord to run the fridge and the aquarium filter. “No one can survive,” said Nick, who has been unemployed since losing his job at a car dealership four months ago.

“It all started one day when the electricity company knocked on the door to check the meter. Then all of a sudden the electricity went out and we got a letter saying we owed £12,000 for petrol and over £5,000 for electric. There is no gas or electricity.

“I have to shower in the garden with a bucket of water. It will be a bit hot in the sun around 4 or 5 p.m. Summer isn’t too bad, but now it’s getting closer to winter, I don’t know what to do. Otherwise, I have to go to the gym or go to a friend’s house.

“My skin suffers from not being able to shower every day, and since I can’t cook, I spend more money on food. Our neighbors let us use extension cords to keep food fresh in the fridge and aquarium.

“I paid £500 a month including gas and electricity, which we don’t have at the moment. My wife was living with me at the time but she moved out because she couldn’t stand not having a bath.

“It’s not a condition anyone should live in, we shouldn’t be paying to live like this, so I won’t until it’s sorted out. We can’t live like this anymore. »

Letters seen by BirminghamLive show that more than £17,000 is owed for gas and electricity at the Edgbaston address. Councilor Marcus Bernasconi, Labor MP for Edgbaston North, tried to contact the company but said the number was in constant use.

“This is the latest in a long line of absentee landlord cases causing pain for private tenants in Edgbaston North,” Bernasconi said. “How can you expect to live in such conditions in modern Britain. – No electricity, gas or decent running water.

“My heart goes out to Nick and I did everything I could to help him, but the call fell on deaf ears. The virtual room has questions to answer and how did she make it it possible.

We need to completely clean up this sector. I urge those appalled by this story to consult with Birmingham City Council on further permission for shared accommodation. “

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