“I am entitled to live in a house like this and get welfare benefits,” claims jobless Palestinian Muslim mother-of-seven who insists her family deserves to live in the £1.25 million ($1.9 million) taxpayer-funded home that they wrecked.
UK Daily Mail Manal Mahmoud and her seven children moved into the Victorian end-of-terrace home after it was given a £76,000 facelift.
But yesterday the Palestinian immigrants were branded the ‘family from hell’ by nearby residents as it emerged that they face eviction from the three-bedroom property in Fulham, West London, for their ‘appalling behavior.
It follows complaints to police about anti-social behavior at the property, where the driveway has been smashed up, doors are hanging off and rubbish and furniture have been dumped in the garden. Although the family claim they do not have the money to maintain the house, they drive a Mercedes and the house is fitted with expensive electronic goods including a widescreen plasma television and a laptop computer.
Yesterday Mrs Mahmoud, who came to Britain in 2000 with her husband before they split up, said she was living with six of her children aged between five and 17. Her 19-year-old son Ossama is in prison for drug dealing.
She added: ‘I am entitled to live in a house like this, even if I don’t pay for it and get benefits. ‘It is fair that the Government houses us. ‘I know I have a son who makes trouble but that doesn’t mean all my children are the same.
Neighbors are complaining because the landlord rented the house to council tenants – they don’t want a
foreigner Muslim deadbeat to live in this street.’
Mrs Mahmoud, who gained British citizenship in 2005, admitted that the inside of the house had not been taken care of. Taxpayers partially footed the bill for a new kitchen and roof along with decoration costs before the family moved in three years ago.
‘I know the house doesn’t look its best,’ she said. ‘I don’t try to maintain and repair the house, I don’t fix the tiles or paint the walls. I haven’t got enough money – I only have my benefits. I don’t care if people think I am not grateful.’ Now she could face eviction after the landlord of the three-bedroom property, Sue Cummings, apparently found the home had been ‘trashed’.
Ms Cummings, who agreed to let council tenants live in her home in the leafy street close to the River Thames, apparently found doors missing or hanging off and walls written on. The driveway had also been smashed up, wallpaper was off and carpet worn through, the Sun said. Outside, the lawn was overgrown, furniture left in the front garden and rubbish and motorbike parts strewn around.
Yesterday neighbours described the Mahmouds as ‘the family from hell’. One said: ‘The place looks an absolute mess. The furniture has been out in the garden for months.’
It’s not the first time plush homes lived in by benefit claimants have come under the spotlight:
In February it emerged that at least 100 families receiving housing benefit were living in luxury homes on handouts that could fund £1m mortgages. More than 30 of those families were being given £1,500 a week to live ‘swanky’ lifestyles – more than three times the national average wage.
Of the 100 families, 60 have their rent paid by the state to the value of £5,000 a month, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.
In 2010 it emerged that a family of Somalian asylum seekers were getting £1.2m a year to live in Kensington, west London – a short walk from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s home in Kensington Palace.
Abdi Nur, 42, an unemployed bus conductor, his wife Sayruq, 40, and their seven children moved to the three-storey home in the fashionable area of the capital after complaining that their previous home had been in a ‘poor’ part of the city.
In another case last year, a Somalian family moved from a house in Coventry to a £2m property in West Hampstead, north London.
Saeed Khaliiff was given £2,000 a week for the home despite having no links to the area, which has been home to George Michael, Sienna Miller, Jude Law and Helena Bonham Carter.
Meanwhile, Afghan mother of seven Toorpakai Saindi was handed £12,000 in housing benefit a month to be able to live in a £1.2million mansion in Acton, west London as there weren’t enough council houses big enough.