Evelyn Waugh’s mansion just sold for £3m, but the “superfans” living there refuse to leave.
This week, the eight-bedroom, six-bathroom Cotswold mansion where Evelyn Waugh wrote Brideshead Revisited sold to an unnamed bidder in an online auction for £3.16m, after its previous owner, Jason Blain, defaulted on a loan against the property.
That’s despite the fact that prospective buyers had been warned about the current tenants, who describe themselves as “Evelyn Waugh superfans” and pay only £250 a year, according to The Guardian’s wealth correspondent Rupert Neate.
The tenants, Helen Lawton and Bechara Madi, are friends of Blain’s, and refuse to leave. “It’s our home, for the short term and for the long term. We will be putting our Christmas tree and decorations up in the next few days. We are going nowhere,” Madi told The Daily Mail ahead of the auction. At the time they insisted that the house was not for sale, but that the situation was “complicated.” “You have to ask why they are selling the house for £1m less than its market value in a low end auction just before Christmas,” Madi said. “We are not tenants, we have a major share in the house and have put in hundreds of thousands of pounds of our own money….We have spent a lot of our own money on the upkeep of the house, it’s our home and we have no plans to move.”
You have to imagine that Waugh would appreciate the drama.