A man says Bromley Council tried to put him, his wife and their three children onto the streets on one of the coldest days of the year. 

Yazid Oufar and his wife Mounira returned home from a doctor’s appointment for their baby daughter on December 9, to find the locks on their flat had been changed. 

They said medication for Mr Oufar’s diabetes and Mrs Oufar’s heart condition was locked inside, alongside items they would have needed to secure alternative accommodation, such as passports and bank cards.  

But they alleged Bromley Council, who housed them in the Shooters Hill flat, refused to facilitate access, leaving them no option but to force their own way back in with a drill.  

The family has continued to occupy the property and Mr Oufar said he had stopped going to work out of fear that his wife and children could be kicked out again when he wasn’t there.  

“I have been here working all my life, paying taxes,” he said.

“I’ve never asked this government for anything. Never, ever. The first time was last year. 

“I’m just wondering what I’ve done wrong. I’m a British citizen. Why are they treating me like I’m an outsider?” 

He said he was so disgusted that he uploaded a recording of one of his telephone calls with the council’s lettings agent (Finefair, in Gants Hill) to YouTube.  

The Audio Recording 

“Is there any chance, sir, please, to send someone to open the door for me to get my medication and for my wife as well, and I’m gonna get my bank card because I’ve got nowhere to go,” Mr Oufar is heard saying. 

“There’s nothing that we can do, unfortunately,” the lettings agent replies. “My colleague’s already told you earlier that you’re gonna have to get medication, have to contact the hospital or the doctor to get new medication, prescription, whatever you need. We are unable to let you in the property today.” 

“What about my ID, my passport, my kids’ passports, all that stuff? Especially, you know, my bank account?” says Mr Oufar. 

 “Yea, there’s nothing I can do, unfortunately, regarding that sir,” says the agent. 


“So I’m gonna be, you know, in the street with my kids,” says Mr Oufar. “My youngest one is two months old, in the freezing weather.” 

The temperature peaked in London that day at 4 degrees, but for most of the day it was at or below freezing.

“You need to find suitable accommodation,” replies the agent. 

“But I need my money. Everything is in the flat,” Mr Oufar repeats. 

“Yea, there’s nothing I can do for you today, unfortunately,” the agent says. 

Finefair did not respond to multiple requests for comment. 

Legal Dispute 

Housing law expert Arfan Bhatti, partner at Oliver Fisher law firm, said the family should have been allowed to retrieve their important items. 

“The local authority have to safeguard his goods and arrange for access to them if so required,” he said.  

But Bromley Council has insisted that it acted “in line with legislation”. 

It also alleged that it owed the Oufars no housing duty. 

Mr Oufar and his wife had two children before becoming estranged.

Mrs Oufar moved to Algeria with the two boys and in their absence, Mr Oufar was housed last year in a single room. 

But the couple reconciled, Mrs Oufar and the children returned to the UK and the couple had a third child. 

Mr Oufar’s single room was no longer sufficient and Bromley accepted that it was overcrowded. 


News Shopper: The Oufar family had been living in a single room in BromleyThe Oufar family had been living in a single room in Bromley (Image: Yazid Oufar)

Bromley Council housed the family while it reviewed their case. 

But, it said: “Following careful review, it was decided that the individual in this case had made themselves intentionally homeless, as other family members had joined them to live in a single room of sole occupation. 

“The council does not have a duty to house the other family members as they are not UK citizens.” 

However, Mr Oufar showed the News Shopper passports declaring all three of his children British citizens. 

Bromley Council has cut off the family’s housing benefits and a lawyer is working on a legal challenge. 

Meanwhile, Mr Oufar said he had no money to pay rent and did not know what would happen next. 

Bromley Council said: “Whilst the council is no longer actively involved in this case, we continue to offer advice and support with finding private rented housing.” 

Mr Oufar said he was receiving no such support.