The Royal Household has been accused of “cold and petty” behaviour by a young couple who claim they have been evicted from their Crown property home over a £32 electricity bill.
Christopher Brown, 33, and Daisy Bow Du Toit, 31, said they had been turfed out of their flat in Royal Mews, Hampton Court, after using a communal plug socket to charge their electric car.
They blamed the Queen, 94, as their “landlady,” for their treatment, insisting that they had apologised for any offence caused and had offered to pay the bill and any fine the household might wish to levy.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson declined to elaborate but said in a carefully worded statement: “Tenancy agreements are terminated very rarely, and only in exceptional circumstances.”
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The couple have lived at the period property for five years and described their time there as "a fairytale".
They said they had spent time and money landscaping a communal garden, which was a wasteland when they moved in, growing their own vegetables.
Before buying an electric Volkswagen eGolf early last year, Mr Brown asked the Royal Household if they could have a charger installed in their garage.
He said they initially seemed "receptive" but later declined the request and refused to back down when he appealed the decision.
Mr Brown, a mechanical design engineer, said that instead, he had charged the car at his workplace but during lockdown he had been forced, on occasion, to charge the vehicle using a communal socket in a utility room on the Royal Mews site.
He said that a workman saw the cable in September and without warning, they received a letter informing them that they had until Christmas to vacate the property.
Mr Brown, who estimated that the electricity he had used would cost around £32, said he tried everything to persuade them to change their minds, even writing to his local MP and asking neighbouring tenants to write them glowing references.
He said the situation had been exacerbated by the fact that Royal Household tenancies are not covered by new Covid-19-based legislation that protects tenants from being evicted with less than six months notice.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Royal Household engages an external agency to lease a small number of residential properties at Hampton Court Mews, on the Occupied Royal Palaces Estate.”
The estate agent that manages the property declined to comment.
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