The house at 9 Fortitude Place, Birtinya has 17 bedrooms, all with shared living and kitchen areas. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
The house at 9 Fortitude Place, Birtinya has 17 bedrooms, all with shared living and kitchen areas. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

'I was naked when the council raided my home'

A HOUSEHOLD of doctors and nurses could soon be without a place to live as the council battles their home's owner.

Emergency department nurse Matt Lechmere was shocked to learn the he could be kicked out of the place he'd called home for six months, but realised he'd seen warning signs all along.

The 27-year-old said he was naked and asleep when Sunshine Coast Council staff barged into his room on June 28, warrant in-hand, and wouldn't let him out without answering questions.

"I thought they were undercover cops," he said.

Officers were there to gather evidence for court action against the homeowner, Michael Gavin, for allegedly failing to meet the requirements of a "dwelling".

READ: 'Knock it down': Secret 'hostel' enrages neighbours

The owner of 9 Fortitude Place, Birtinya is being taken to court by Sunshine Coast Council. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
The owner of 9 Fortitude Place, Birtinya is being taken to court by Sunshine Coast Council. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

Mr Lechmere lived in one of 17 bedrooms inside the three-storey home builders thought was for a big family.

Council staff had previously staked out the building for five days across three months before contacting the owner, and took photos of tenants walking inside, turning on lights and even cooking dinner.

Mr Lechmere said it was an invasion of privacy for doing nothing wrong.

He said majority of the household were temporary tenants who worked at the hospital and his floor of people had a good relationship. He said none of them knew court action had been launched against their landlord.

He said while Mr Gavin didn't live at the residence, he said Mr Gavin was there often, and they spoke regularly via text.

The council has been contacted for comment.



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