A PUB landlord broke down in tears as he told how he was facing bankruptcy after trying to revive the fortunes of an ailing local.
Peter Marsden and wife Sue are being forced to leave the Tandem at Waterloo after problems with rent and stock payments.
Enterprise Inns, which owns the Wakefield Road pub, sent a bailiff to the pub unannounced a fortnight ago to demand £10,000-worth of property for unpaid bills.
The same day the company told the couple they would not get any more stock, forcing them to stop trading five days later when they ran out of beer.
Now they have been told to move out within two weeks.
Mr Marsden, 60, said: “We have got no money left. There’s about £800 in the bank that I can’t touch because I need it to pay for certain things.
“My 83-year-old mum sent us £200 so we could buy food.
“I feel like I’ve let my family down.
“In a couple of years we wanted to retire and move to Spain. That dream has gone now.
“We’ve lost it all. I don’t know what we are going to do. This has bankrupted us.”
The Marsdens took over the pub two years ago after moving from London, where Mr Marsden was a taxi driver and Mrs Marsden, 49, was a care home worker.
They remortgaged their home to pay for the lease and buy fixtures and fittings and ploughed tens of thousands of pounds into refurbishing the pub, cleaning up the garden and putting up a smoking shelter.
He said: “It was a dead pub but we gradually started building it up. Eventually we doubled what it was taking and were on our way to success..
“Then last July everything crashed. The smoking ban and the bad weather really hit us.”
After months of poor trading, Mr Marsden appealed to Enterprise Inns for help.
The company agreed to give him a three-month discount on stock, but refused a request for an extension of the discount after the fortunes of the pub started to pick up again.
The Marsdens continued to borrow money against their house, but trading remained slow.
Things came to a head after a rent cheque bounced.
Mr Marsden said: “A bailiff turned up completely unannounced.
“He ransacked everything and told us he would be taking everything, including some of my mum’s stuff.
“That morning I also got a call from the area manager for Enterprise Inns telling us we would not get any more stock. We have been given two weeks to get out, with our clothes.”
He blamed Enterprise Inns for failing to help them and causing problems by failing to cash cheques on time.
“We were crying out for help, but they left us to fend for ourselves,” he said.
“I strongly believe this pub can make it, but they don’t want to listen.”
An Enterprise Inns spokeswoman said she could not comment on individual cases, but referred to the company’s interim management statement from January.
The statement said: “In a marketplace that is likely to remain difficult for some time, it is especially important that we work closely with our licensees, not only to help them to develop new business opportunities but also to support licensees who are genuinely struggling, despite their best efforts, to deal with adverse market conditions.
“In this regard, we continue to offer rent concessions, discount schemes and trading support where appropriate.”
On Tuesday the company, which runs more than 7,700 pubs, said the number of landlords asking for help had doubled in the last six months.
It said it had given £2.5-£3m more this year than last year in rent concessions and beer discounts.
The company’s website is advertising more than 20 of its pubs in and around Huddersfield that need new managers.