Forced to come to the UK from Poland and work in a warehouse to pay for his wife’s cancer treatment, Zbigniew Pawlowski’s plight only came to light when the rented house he was living in was purchased as an investment property by NHS reconstructive surgeon Paul Malone
Requiring extensive repairs and redecoration, Zbigniew, who is 74 years old and speaks very little English, was reluctant to move out of the property temporarily amid fears he would lose the one link to his wife in Poland – a daily Skype call.
Purseglove Property Management – a Kirkby-based property lettings and management specialist, which manages the multiple occupancy house on behalf of Paul – tracked down Zbigniew‘s son, Kamil, who was able to talk to his father and reassure him the move was temporary and that he would have WiFi access.
Kamil said: “My father left everything to move to UK to rescue my mum, and he did it again to come back to Poland.
"He spent five years in UK, and everything he earned, he sent home.
“He lived very modestly, always taking overtime and only travelled home one or two times a year – it was a hard time for my father.
“My parents love each other very much. My mom is still fighting and has a strong will.”
On hearing about Zbigniew’s plight, landlord Paul then made the extraordinary gesture of refunding all of the rent that Zbigniew had paid since he took ownership of the property – around three months’ worth.
“When I discovered what Zbigniew was going through my heart went out to him,” said Paul.
"I didn’t want to profit from his misfortune so refunding his rent was a little gesture that I hope in some way gives him a warm feeling about his time in the UK while he has been going through such a horrible experience separated from his wife.”
Gemma Purseglove, director of Purseglove Property Management, said her firm was delighted to play its part in helping Zbigniew.
“We pride ourselves on caring for all our tenants so to be able to work with a landlord like Paul is amazing,” she said.
"He absolutely shares our values as a business that all tenants deserve safe, comfortable and well-maintained homes at affordable prices.
“Although Paul considered the refunding of the rent a small gesture, we know it made a huge difference in Zbigniew’s life as he is now home in Poland with his wife.”
Paul was working at Nottingham University Hospitals when he bought the property in Shirebrook.
Since purchasing it last year, he has made substantial investment and refurbished it to a very high standard with a new roof, kitchen, bathrooms and full redecoration throughout.
Purseglove Property Management oversaw the three-month refurbishment programme and ensured all the tenants had alternative accommodation while the work was being undertaken.
All the tenants have moved back into the property since the refurbishment.
Paul said: “Feeling safe and secure in your home is so important, that’s why working with specialists like Purseglove Property Management is important to me.
"If a tenant has a problem or something is broken, they put it right straightaway.”