Sex therapist loses latest round of battle with aristocratic landlords

Sex therapist loses latest round of legal battle with aristocratic landlords trying to evict her after she took over historic Grade II-listed home with more than 50 animals

  • Sex therapist Lady Patricia Ramshaw, 54, has been foiled in her rent refund bid
  • Lady Ramshaw is accused of breaching tenancy by moving 50 animals in house 

A sex therapist locked in legal battles with her aristocratic landlords has lost her latest case – after she took over their historic home with more than 50 animals.

Lady Patricia Ramshaw, 54, has been denied a refund on her rent and a judge has dismissed her claim of harassment against the aristocratic Cator family, over her tenancy at their 300-year-old family home.

The dispute had been dubbed the UK’s most upmarket eviction row with an on-going fall-out involving mouldy walls, dozens of animals – and claims of being spied on from a church tower.

Lady Ramshaw first moved into the Old House at Ranworth, Norfolk, in winter 2021 to find no central heating causing her to ‘freeze’ despite being supplied with oil radiators.

She then took the wealthy landowning family to court for a rent refund of £28,538 after claiming the house was unfit to live in with no mandatory energy efficiency rating.

Sex therapist and artist Lady Patricia Ramshaw, 54, has been foiled in her rent refund bid

There’s somebody at the door: An enormous white horse was among Lady Ramshaw’s animals

Jane Cator, who was called to give evidence at a previous hearing, and claimed Lady Ramshaw had breached her tenancy agreement by bringing animals ‘in huge proportions’ onto the land

The property is believed to be worth in the region of £1.5million, based on similarly-sized homes in the region. 

Landlord Sam Cator claimed Lady Ramshaw breached the terms of her tenancy by moving in with more than 50 animals, including three Great Danes, two horses, 12 sheep, two pigs, a goat, ducks and hens.

The animals allegedly destroyed the historic Cator family orchard on the grounds of the seven-acre property, after Lady Ramshaw allowed them to graze under the trees during the 2022 summer heatwave.

And in the latest twist of this row, self-dubbed Lady Ramshaw, who still lives at the property, was denied her rent refund by tribunal judge Stephen Evans.

Lady Patricia Ramshaw had claimed she has been forced to live in freezing conditions at her Grade II listed rental home in Ranworth, Norfolk

Lady Ramshaw keeps four dogs including three Great Danes in the lovely property in Norfolk

He also criticised the two parties for allowing the dispute to end up at a tribunal – suggesting the matter be dealt with by civil means.

He wrote: ‘The entirety of this case centres on the parties’ respective civil rights, which is suitable for an entirely different forum.

‘These proceedings provide a salutary lesson for those prospective landlords and tenants who embark on entering a tenancy without defining the ambit of the demise, and without agreeing on all relevant terms of the tenancy, before occupation is taken up.’

Lady Ramshaw, who works as a sex therapist was bought the title by an ex-boyfriend as part of a burlesque act where she was known as ‘Lady Pea’.

The Cators refunded her a £13,000 heating bill she incurred during the first Christmas at the property, plus £4,500 of rent.

Lady Ramshaw has horses, goats, sheep, pigs, ducks and four Great Dane dogs called Jager, Nova, Lola, Yogi which live in the house with her

Lady Ramshaw is fighting a bid by her landlord to evict her from her Grade II listed rental home over accusations her 20 animals were doing ‘damage’ to the property

The two parties were negotiating her finishing her tenancy early and Lady Ramshaw said she was set to move out that summer in 2022, having gathered her animals from different stables onto the land to move the same week in June.

However the Cators then went back on the agreement to end her tenancy early with a rent refund after getting in touch with an ex-partner of Ramshaw’s which she described as abusive.

Whilst Judge Evans denied Ramshaw’s right to a rent refund, he did acknowledge that the Cator family had altered a deal with Lady Ramshaw after speaking with her ex-partner.

He wrote: ‘It is unfortunate for the applicant [Lady Ramshaw] that the contact had the effect of causing the respondent [Sam Cator] to change the terms of his offer of surrender.’

Speaking after the hearing, Lady Ramshaw said she did not consider the ruling to be a defeat as it had allowed the case to enter the public domain.

Lady Ramshaw keeps four dogs including three Great Danes, two horses, two pigs, a goat, several ducks and hens and a flock of sheep 

Lady Ramshaw keeps 20 animals including four dogs at the sprawling Norfolk property

She said: ‘The rent repayment hearing has been very successful for me as I got to see the disgraceful truth of what has gone on.

‘I am very grateful to the judge for revealing such awful things.’

Speaking previously, she outlined the issues she had faced since moving in.

She added: ‘At Christmas I had pneumonia for weeks through the cold here.

‘I didn’t know there wasn’t central heating when I moved in.

‘I visited the house beforehand, it was beautiful and described as ‘cosy and warm’.

‘The week I moved in I froze. My head was throbbing from the cold.

‘The week I moved in I was trying to organise with the landlord where the animals were to go.

‘We had a meeting about the heating, then from December they started trying to evict me. I’d paid a year of rent in advance.’

The judge’s report included allegations made during the hearing that Jane Cator, mother of landlord Sam Cator, had spied on Lady Ramshaw from a nearby church tower and had moved her animals.

However, the judge ruled that Mrs Cator’s explanations for going up the tower – that it was not to spy on Lady Ramshaw and that she was a caretaker of the church – was ‘entirely plausible’.

The report reads: ‘We believe Mrs Cator when she said she looked at the property – but not specifically the applicant – on all occasions she went up the tower.’

The judge also dismissed claims that the Cator family’s staff had taken photographs of Lady Ramshaw.

The judge wrote: ‘We are not satisfied that the respondent or his agents have photographed the applicant in person, as opposed to her animals or the damage they have caused.’

As of April 2023, Lady Ramshaw continues to live in the property, which she says she cannot afford to leave without a rent refund.

A possession order has been made against her through county courts, but she is seeking to set it aside.

The Cators declined to comment.

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