A council tenant in Leeds, who has devoted most of her life to caring for abandoned and feral cats, has been told by her landlord to get rid of them or she will be facing legal action.
Jackie Silcox currently looks after twenty-one cats in her one bedroom, ground floor flat in Ebor Gardens and uses a wheelchair whenever she is outside her home because of leg and back problems. Two years ago she contacted the local council to ensure there were no issues with her keeping so many pets; she was even visited by a housing official who assured her that there was no problem. In fact she claims the council were more concerned that she got planning permission for a large fence she wanted in her garden.
Ms Silcox said: “I don’t know how it started to be honest but I’ve been taking in cats for over 20 years. I had my own cats and people started bringing them because they knew I was a cat lover and wouldn’t turn any cat away. I have no problem coping with them. Once they are all fed and given a bit of love they all settle down.”
Despite saying there was no problem; East North East Homes who have thousands of properties which are all covered by cheap landlord insurance have given her a deadline of August 10th to get rid of all but two of the cats. The council say that Ms Silcox’s tenancy agreement clearly states that she is allowed to keep up to two cats in her home. They have given a previous warning and have now offering her a reasonable amount of time for her to find new homes for the other 19 cats. The landlords are also worried about the health hazards which could affect the welfare of other residents within the flats.