Four low-income earners have been forced to hunt for a new home after two people died in their Papamoa house and their landlords suddenly told them to move out.
The quartet - a pensioner, an orphan, a single mother and a sickness beneficiary - are pleading for help in finding new accommodation after learning that Tauranga's rocketing rental market could force them to pay a lot more than their current $300 a week.
They say the request to move out has been particularly painful after the deaths of the 50-year-old man from cancer on November 20 and his 47-year-old wife from a presumed heart attack on February 4.
The deaths left the couple's son, 24-year-old Jared Castle, living as an orphan in upstairs rooms.
"I stopped working on kiwifruit when Dad passed," he said. "I was meant to be getting a trade qualification as an electrician, but that has gone by the wayside since Mum passed."
Mr Castle said his mother had wanted him to "stay together" with the other residents of the house.
But less than a week after the death of his mother, a landlord had visited to give notice that they would have to move out.
Daniela Setters, who is living in a downstairs garage, said the eviction came as a shock.
"We were balancing by a miracle and then Bang! This was the final straw."
The 56-year-old sickness beneficiary said they had been quoted up to $780 a week for alternative accommodation.
Mr Castle's grandfather Ed Castle, who is living downstairs, said he felt "damn terrible" after the tragic series of events.
He had been attending his youngest brother's funeral when he received a phone call informing him of the death of his daughter-in-law, Jared's mother. He felt her death especially keenly because he had medical training and had not been at home to help.
Ed Castle said his daughter, who lived in Katikati, was trying to find him accommodation near her home.
The deaths of Jared Castle's parents came two years after his grandmother fell on the stairs in the home and fatally broke her neck.
Also living in the Papamoa house is a single mother with shared access to her 4-year-old son.
Ms Setters appealed for anybody who could help with cheap accommodation to contact her.
She said the group's rental payments were up to date, and the residents had never caused any problems for the landlords.
The Bay of Plenty Times spoke with the landlady on condition of anonymity.
She said she had been legally obliged to give notice because the rental agreement had been with Jared's mother, who had lived in the home eight or nine years but was now deceased.
She had been willing to negotiate more time in the house for Jared, but the landlords did want the residents to move out because they needed to do renovations on the house.
Can you help?
Contact Daniela Setters
07 542 3388
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