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Thursday, January 05, 2017

Tenant evicted after being accused of anti-social behaviour in the neighbourhood

A 20-year-old man has been evicted from his home in Skelmersdale after a series of complaints about his anti-social behaviour and that of his associates and his failure to pay his rent throughout his six month introductory tenancy. West Lancashire Borough Council received a complaint they were ‘destroying what used to be a nice, peaceful, trouble-free estate’.

At a hearing at Wigan County Court the Council was granted possession of a property in Hallcroft, Birch Green it had been renting to Mr Jordan Smith. He was also ordered to pay back rent arrears of £1,956.19 and costs up to a total of £2,000.

The Council pursues all available measures against tenants who breach the terms of their tenancy agreement as well as rent arrears. Council tenants who have never had a tenancy before are given a 12 month introductory tenancy so they can demonstrate during this period that they can be responsible tenants. If they breach their introductory tenancy it is much easier for the Council to end their tenancy and take back the property.

The court heard that Mr Smith moved into the property in June 2016. Just 10 days later, other residents of Hallcroft complained to the Council about anti-social behaviour from a large group hanging around inside and outside the property. It was reported that some members of the group were sitting on the roof and others were shouting and screaming.

Further incidents were reported to the Council in July and August, and rent arrears began to mount up. Then in late August and early September 2016 the Council received complaints that Mr Smith had been banging on the windows of his own property, shouting and swearing and demanding to be let in. Council staff also received complaints that bottles were being smashed against Mr Smith’s property.

Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “The Council received a series of allegations of anti-social behaviour about this tenant and people visiting his home. This case should serve as a warning to tenants that we do not tolerate such behaviour and we will take action wherever possible that may result in them being evicted.”

Councillor Jenny Patterson, portfolio holder for Housing and Landlord Services, said: “Tenants are responsible for their behaviour and that of people visiting their property. Mr Smith’s behaviour and that of groups of people visiting the property, along with the large rent arrears that had mounted up, left the Council with no choice but to take action to evict him.

“The Council tries to work with its tenants who find themselves in rent arrears. If there are any tenants who find themselves in this situation they should contact their housing officer immediately so the Council can help them. They may be able to make an agreement with us to pay off what they owe gradually.

“The Council offers a free, independent and confidential Rent and Money Advice Service to Council tenants. Advisers can help with managing bills, claiming benefits, and negotiating debt payment programmes. For more details please visit money advice. To use the service please email money.advice@westlancs.gov.uk or call the team on 01695 585252.”

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