A TROWBRIDGE shopkeeper says her life has ‘come to a standstill’ after she was locked out of her stall in Castle Place market hall by landlords who say she hasn’t paid the rent – a claim she fiercely denies.

Lillian Wilson, who has earned her living from a hair and beauty stall in the market for more than 10 years, found the locks had been changed when she went into work last Tuesday, July 25.

Since then she says she has not been allowed back into her stall and has been told by debt collectors that she must pay more than £800 – nearly six weeks’ rent – to commercial landlord Cushman & Wakefield, plus collection fees.

Both Cushman & Wakefield and the associate director of Castle Place refused to comment when approached by the Wiltshire Times.

Mrs Wilson said: “I have paid my rent and I have the receipts to prove it. Nobody will talk to me or to my solicitor about what is going on, and all this time I’m losing money. That stall is my livelihood – I have bills to pay.

“I’ve been told that my lease won’t be renewed when it ends in August but this is not how to treat people. I get on with the other shop owners there and I haven’t abused anyone – I’m being bounced between the managers and debt collectors and landlords. I just want an explanation.

“When I went in last week the locks had been changed and nobody will give me a key or let me in to get my things. My lease agreement is in there but I can’t get it, which is making things hard for my solicitor.”

Mum-of-two Mrs Wilson runs her stall, which sells beauty products and hair extensions, from a unit in the market hall for which she pays a weekly rent. She has been handed notices from a debt collection agency saying it has been told by the landlord to collect unpaid rent in arrears. Mrs Wilson is adamant she does not owe the money.

“I wouldn’t be getting a lawyer and talking to the newspaper if I was in the wrong,” she added. “The whole thing is driving me crazy; I can’t go to work, I’m not earning any money and I’m being ignored. My life has come to a standstill.”