For anyone who doubts the ability of housing associations and other housing providers to use the tools provided by the law to evict problem tenants the story of the Birch family from Gloucester is a salutary tale.
The family – father Michael aged 69, his partner Jane aged 52 and daughters Trudie and Ellen aged 28 and 22 respectively – were evicted from their housing association home in early 2015 following repeated complaints of anti-social behaviour including fighting and swearing. So atrocious was their behaviour they were issued with a joint Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction (an ASBI) following complaints that they had smashed windows, used foul language and allowed their pets (including snakes and bearded dragons) to cause a nuisance.
When eventually removed from the accommodation they secured a new home only to face similar complaints as their anti-social behaviour continued. A further ASBI was issued in relation to the new home and when the orders were breached, the injunction terms were extended to cover the entire city of Gloucester.
Anti-social behaviour has a very serious impact on everyone involved – from neighbours to the housing staff whose precious time and resources has to be diverted to address the issues that arise as a result.
Using the provisions of the law to protect people not only deals with the problem in hand but, in cases such as this where publicity can be gained for the outcome, sends a powerful message to others who would behave in the same way that they run a real risk of losing their home.
Our social housing team can advise on dealing with anti-social tenants and the tools at your disposal to deal with the issues they raise.
For advice or assistance on eviction or anti-social tenants please contact us today.