A couple received a rather unwanted festive gift when their landlord pitched up a tent in their back garden on Christmas Day – and has been living in it ever since.
Nicky and William moved into the property in Yamba, New South Wales, Australia, with their three children just two months ago but say they have been left 'terrified' following a series of events that have taken place since Christmas Day.
The family had been enjoying their Christmas Day together when landlord Pascale Hubert texted the couple to inform them that she would be occupying the garden of the four-bedroom, two-bathroom house.
She wrote: "Dear Nicky and William, I am the owner. As of tonight I will be occupying the rear yard."
The landlord has since refused to leave, with Nicky saying that the young children have been left "terrified" after an aggressive outburst from Pascale's partner.
The couple filmed the heated exchange after the man ordered them to move their car so he could get to the back of the house.
"Listen here, s*** for brains, I've given you a warning, move that frigging car now, you are in big s***," he said.
He then dragged a trampoline out of the garden and installed gates, according to reports.
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Nicky said the cops told her they are "powerless" to force the pair off the property.
"It's day 11 of them living in the backyard. It's completely bizarre to everybody we tell," Nicky told A Current Affair.
"Police and real estate don't know what to do.
'"Our children are terrified, they keep asking, 'Who are they?' and we can't give them any answers."
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She added: "The police are telling us that the real estate should be physically removing these people and the real estate are saying they can't do that."
The landlord says the rental contract does not include the backyard and so she is free to occupy it if she wishes to.
Under the $560-a-week lease agreement, the contract reportedly includes the phrase: "Rear yard is not included."
But Leo Patterson Ross, chief executive of Tenants Union of NSW, said the landlord and her partner could be trespassing.
"It could be that the landlord is trespassing whenever they go across that driveway area because they are entering into a place that they've given someone else possession," he said.
"At the end of the day while the lease says that the backyard isn't included the landlord has to go down the driveway that the lease doesn't talk about and what the lease also promises the tenant is reasonable peace, comfort and privacy in their home."
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