Keep proper journalism alive. It's time to Back the Cable
The Bristol Cable

Eviction resistance at Camelot property

Ideas and Action

Campaigners celebrate after eviction of Camelot tenant is postponed by protest yesterday.

“We have been made to live in appalling and dangerous housing conditions, suffered bullying, harassment, and several kinds of abuse,”
Roynon alleges.

The eviction of a tenant of a Brislington property managed by property guardianship company Camelot was stopped in its tracks yesterday after a show of force by supporters from local housing rights networks.

Despite the torrential rain Camelot staff and its bailiffs were greeted by around 20 people made up of activists from community union ACORN and BHAM (Bristol Housing Action Movement) yesterday morning.

The building is currently leased by the council to Camelot, an international ‘vacant property management service’ company that offers cheaper rents to ‘guardians’ who occupy vacant properties without the rights that come with tenancies.

However the occupier of the former elderly people’s home, Greg Roynon, successfully challenged Camelot in court earlier this year. Ruling in his favour, the judge agreed he was a tenant rather than licencee, and therefore is afforded the extra rights a tenancy brings – in particular the amount of notice that needs to be given prior to any eviction.

Despite Camelot maintaining that the court ruling on Roynon’s tenancy status did not set a precedent and making promises to maintain high standards at their properties, the Cable revealed in June that the council planned to cancel its contract with the firm.

As of June, Camelot still acts as the landlord for around 150 people in Bristol, although the relationship will be slowly phased out as outlined in a council report published earlier in the summer.

Following the court ruling that Roynon is indeed a tenant, on 24th July Camelot issued a legal eviction notice, giving him until yesterday to move out.

But Roynon made the decision not to go quietly. “We have been made to live in appalling and dangerous housing conditions, suffered bullying, harassment, and several kinds of abuse,” he alleges.

Roynon, who is a member of ACORN, said it was “incredible” how many people had come down to offer their support. Nick Ballard, an ACORN organiser, said the group was supporting the eviction resistance to draw attention to the issue, and “expose the way that Camelot run their business and the way they treat their tenants now they’ve won the right to be treated as such in court”.

Ballard continued, “Questions have come up about the actions Bristol council have or haven’t taken in terms of enforcing improvement orders and prosecutions against Camelot. We’re here to support Greg and the other guardians and put the council on notice that these questions do need to be answered.”

After a short debate in the car park, the bailiff was driven off the premises by Camelot staff. Contractors employed by the council to board up empty buildings left shortly after, followed by the security guard employed by Camelot.

This isn’t the only Camelot-managed property in Bristol that has experienced problems. Property guardians at the former Speedwell Fire Station withheld their rent payments earlier in the year alleging that Camelot refused to take the required action to tackle a rat infestation that led the council to deem the property unfit for human habitation.

The Cable contacted Camelot, who said a statement would be released yesterday but is still forthcoming. Follow up phone calls were not returned.

Geraldine Winkler a solicitor with Avon and Bristol Law Centre, who has been representing Roynon in court, said today; “I will need to speak to Greg about the next steps but [as it’s a legal eviction] it is just a matter of time.”

To be continued.


Join 2,500 Cable members redefining local media

Your support will help the Cable grow, deepening our connections in the city and investigating the issues that matter most in our communities.

Join now

What makes us different?


Report a comment. Comments are moderated according to our Comment Policy.

Post a comment

Mark if this comment is from the author of the article

By posting a comment you agree to our Comment Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

Inclusive or exclusive: can community-led housing schemes provide for people most in need?

In recent years Bristol has seen the development of several new community-led housing schemes, which are often driven by small resident groups – but also aim to house people in need of a social home. How is the model working out – and with funds shrinking, does it have a future?

Bristol rogue landlord rented out room despite banning order, tenants say

Naomi Knapp was prohibited from renting out her properties to new tenants in 2022, but the Cable has uncovered evidence to suggest she brought in new tenants anyway.

‘I can do action’: cafe owner who organised tower block evacuation response aiming to be councillor

When she heard Barton House was being evacuated in November, Cafe Conscious owner Deniece Dixon got to work helping families who had become homeless. Two months on, she explains why she’s set her sights on City Hall

Exclusive: Banned rogue landlord under council investigation for listing properties on Airbnb

Holiday lettings firm removes listings after Cable investigation uncovers evidence showing Naomi Knapp's homes have been available to let on its website, via a third party.

Bristol raises £10k for Barton House residents in 48hrs

A Cable crowdfund to support the residents of Barton House is 1,200% funded - and counting.

Analysis: The national high-rise saga behind Barton House’s emergency evacuation

Housing journalist Peter Apps, who has written for years about Grenfell, explains how even the sudden collapse of a similar high rise block in London 50 years failed to spark enough action to make other towers safe.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning