Activists and tenants have occupied an empty house in protest at evictions that have left an estate "like a ghost town”.

Tenants living in Sweets Way, Whetstone have been evicted during the past few weeks, as the former Army estate, owned by property company Annington, is due to be redeveloped later this year.

Ten families remain on the estate and are due to leave later this month.

Two former tenants failed to suspend the evictions in High Court challenges last month, and a protest was also held outside Barnet Borough Council’s housing offices.

An occupation in one of the houses has been underway since Sunday, with the aim of keeping it open as a community centre, and has seen current and former tenants work with housing activists from across London to highlight the evictions on the estate.

Public meetings and film showings have been held, along with baking and painting classes for children who previously lived on the estate and still attend school nearby.

Annington has applied for a possession order to remove the occupiers.

Ash Aliverdipour lives in Sweets Way with his family, and faces eviction later this month. He has been visiting the occupied house each day with his younger sisters.

The 22-year-old, who works as a carer, explained that his family had been living temporarily on the estate for four months, after having to leave their previous home because they could no longer afford the rent after having their housing benefit cut.

Mr Aliverdipour said: “Most of our neighbours have left. It’s quite scary at night, it’s like a ghost town. It isn’t the community it used to be.

“We don’t know where we are going to move to. My parents are going through a lot of stress, it’s difficult for them. It’s been hard.”

One man, who rents his home from Annington, said his family were due to be evicted next week.

He explained that they were struggling to find somewhere to live, as they earned over the threshold to qualify for re-housing from the council, but could not afford a deposit on a privately-rented home.

The tenant, who asked to remain anonymous, added: “The problem is the deposit, a lot of places ask for £3,000 or £4,000, and then there’s estate agent fees. Not many landlords will take people on who are on housing benefit either. We are stuck in limbo.”

In a statement, a spokesman for Annington said: “Annington Property Limited became aware on Sunday, March 8 that a property it owned at 60 Sweets Way, Whetstone, had been illegally occupied by squatters. Annington has commenced court proceedings to obtain a possession order so that it can evict the squatters and take back possession of the property‎.‎

"These properties have long been earmarked for demolition and Annington advised tenants of this back in 2012. Since then Annington wrote again to tenants in July of last year to ensure that they were all aware of the need to vacate the properties in January 2015.”