January 12, 2009

Landlord ordered to evict non-nuns

A British landlord said he has been ordered to evict his 15 tenants because the building, a former convent, is not zoned for non-religious residential use.

Peter Lewin, 49, said officials told him he could face a fine or jail time because the residents of his Caversham, England, building are not nuns and he has no license under planning laws to change the use of the building, The Mirror reported Monday.

They are all decent professional people but I cannot make them into nuns, Lewin said of his tenants. Why should the council have a say in what the tenants do for a living?

The council refused Lewin's request to change the use of the facility.

The only permitted use is as a convent, the council said.