THE son of a couple who took their own lives in the family home was ordered to quit the house just days after he discovered their bodies.

David Barraclough was told he had no tenancy right to the council property he shared with parents David and Patricia.

The devastated 35-year-old said he was still in shock from the discovery of his parents, who died in April this year, when he received a letter from East Lothian Council ordering him to leave the three-bedroom home.

The council said it had no record of David living at the property and he had no right to take over the tenancy after his parents’ death.

David, who has lived at the house on Port Seton’s Inglis Avenue since September 2014, appealed the council’s decision.

However, last week, after three months of legal challenges, he was told he had exhausted the appeal process and lost.

He was told to move out of the house on Monday.

Single David said: “I was still in a daze at what had happened to my parents when I received the first letter telling me I had to leave. I tried to reason with the council but they refused to listen.”

And he claimed: “They are determined to get me out of this house with no regard for what I have been through. It is extraordinary how unreasonable and heartless their attitude is.”

David discovered his parents had taken their own lives at the property on Friday, April 14.

Patricia, 62, and husband David Snr, 55, had been in a long-running dispute with the local authority regarding access to a grandchild.

Son David said the situation in the family home had become difficult in the weeks leading up to their deaths, as he said the couple’s frustrations with social services began to affect their mental health.

He said: “It was a very difficult time and my parents clearly thought they had no other course of action. It was devastating to find them and hard to accept that this was the outcome.”

David has since discovered that his mother, who was a full-time carer to his dad, who had epilepsy, had lodged a formal complaint to the council over how they were dealt with by social workers; however, he says that the outcome of an investigation into the complaint has been withheld from him.

Tensions at home were compounded in March this year when 35-year-old David, who worked in IT in Edinburgh, was made redundant.

He applied to the local authority to be declared homeless after his parents, in the days leading up to their suicide, asked him to leave.

And he said the council used that as proof he did not live there, even though he had mail which showed him at that address for two years.

They also told the grieving son that they had quizzed neighbours who had been unable to identify him by name but who confirmed to him that they regularly saw him at the house.

He said: “It’s quite a normal situation for people on the same street not to know each other but to recognise each other. My routine of leaving for work on the first bus out of Port Seton compounded the issue.”

David was also told that he was not registered at the property on the council tax register, something he believed his parents had done.

He said: “After my parents’ death I was advised by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau to apply to succeed the tenancy.

“I was refused on the basis that I was not on the council tax register, neighbours could not determine I lived here, and I had applied for homelessness status.

“I submitted an appeal with two and a half years’ worth of official mail delivered to my home but was told this simply proved I used it as a mailing address. It was also claimed I was on record as living in Edinburgh, something which has turned out to be untrue.

“I presented evidence which the council has dismissed.

“They have refused to engage with me on any level to reach a compromise, leaving me faced with either holding on to the tenancy or becoming homeless.

“I have no chance of a private let while out of work and believe if the council had given me some time instead of forcing me to fight to stay in my home I would be further along the process of grieving and getting back into some kind of employment.

“They didn’t allow me to grieve, they simply wanted me out of this house.”

Iain Gray, East Lothian MSP, described Mr Barraclough’s situation as “tragic”.

He said: “Clearly, this is a very tragic case and I have tried to help Mr Barraclough.However, this is now in a legal case process and it would not be appropriate for me to comment further.”

Councillor Fiona O’Donnell, ward member, said she and fellow ward councillor Willie Innes had also been in contact with Mr Barraclough.

She said: “Both Councillor Innes and myself have been in contact and offered advice and support.”

A council spokesperson said: “When a tenant dies, in certain circumstances the tenancy can pass to a person who is qualified to succeed that tenancy.

“A request to succeed the tenancy can be refused if the applicant does not meet the qualifying criteria.

“The council is unable to comment publicly on the specifics of any individual’s circumstances or case.”

Police Scotland have confirmed that the investigation into the deaths of David’s parents has been closed.