A furniture maker is fighting eviction from his business premises at Newbattle Abbey College, just months after he and his family were removed from their home there.
Yuri Karpov (40), originally from Russia, moved to a house at the college in 2012. Two years later he also took on a business unit, where he restores furniture and teaches his skills to three students part-time. He was notified on October 28 that his lease would not be continued and he must leave by the end of next month. This follows his family’s eviction by the college from their home last August.
Yuri said: “I believe it’s harassment. It’s the second eviction now. To move out by March 1 is just impossible.
“There is no end date on the lease, it’s very strange. They are just expecting me to leave but I can’t as the time given is not sufficient.
“I need to find a similar property at a similar price. I have a lot of machinery and I teach so I have to prepare for big losses for my business.
“No reason was given for ending the lease. I have went in every possible direction, lawyers, Citizens Advice. Everyone says they can’t help. Nobody can tell me where I stand.
“I have set-up a crowdfunding page to pay for a lawyer. I don’t think it will raise the money in time but I’m trying to do my best, I don’t know what else to do.”
Furniture maker and restorer Yuri, who has created his own training programme, revealed that he had hoped to create a learning centre at the unit to “save this heritage”, adding: “The skills I teach are dying right now.”
This latest eviction order comes just months after Yuri, his wife and their 14-year-old daughter, who has high function autism, had to declare themselves homeless after they were evicted from their home – which Yuri said they had to pay to renovate.
He added: “When winter hit we realised the heating system was not working properly. We lived in very damp and cold conditions. For about three years we asked the college to improve the house and change the heating system but they wouldn’t.
“I found government funding from Homeworks Scotland. They said that the house badly needed renovation. They gave us money towards it and renovated it. They changed all the pipes and put secondary glazing in so it was nice and warm.
“I asked the college for acknowledgement and exchange against the rent for improving the house.
“But we were then given two months to leave. They didn’t give any reason other than they just wanted their property back.”
Newbattle Abbey College principal Ann Southwood said: “There are ongoing legal proceedings regarding Yuri Karpov and it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.”
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