MORE than 20 residents living at a former care home are facing eviction after housing bosses issued all of them with an eviction notice at the same time.

Property company Camelot Europe rents rooms to residents at the Old Rectory in Spring Lane, Lexden, a former care home.

Each person living there has a private sleeping space while some kitchen, bathroom and living areas are shared.

But after residents made complaints about the state of the property to Colchester Council, they were hit with a rent hike of £77 per month.

After a visit from an inspector, the 27 people living there were given four weeks notice to leave by Camelot.

Camelot Europe took over the former care home after the a watchdog decided to shut down the Old Rectory in December 2016.

The company rents rooms in disused buildings to people who are known as property guardians to stop the structures falling into a state of disrepair.

Residents are asked to sign licensing agreements rather than tenancies which means the company keeps a key to their private space and has the right to ask them to leave within 28 days rather than the usual eight weeks.

In exchange, residents are given cheaper rent than would be expected.

A Colchester Council spokesman confirmed the authority is investigating complaints.

A Camelot Europe spokesman said: "Camelot Europe provide a licence agreement for Guardians to occupy vacant buildings temporarily.

"By signing the license agreement the Guardians share occupation of the property in return for an affordable licence fee.

”As outlined in the licence agreement, our client and the guardians are entitled to terminate the occupation at any time and for any reason giving both parties 28 days’ notice.

“Camelot was advised to carry out some remedial work on the property at the council’s instructions.

“Following this, Camelot were required to reduce the number of guardians in the property.

“Camelot issued notice for all of the current occupants to avoid acting discriminatory.”

The spokesman added the guardians must remove all personal belongings by next Friday, February 16.

She added: “Camelot has already transferred some of the guardians to other properties, and all guardians have the opportunity to apply to transfer.”