Prince Evans secures Injunctions banning tenants from their own homes

A 79 year old tenant of Housing Pathways Trust in West London had been causing anti-social behaviour at his property since he moved in. Complaints had been received from other tenants and residents in the sheltered accommodation scheme.  His partner, who is a tenant of Notting Hill Housing Trust also in West London, had likewise been causing significant nuisance at her property a few miles away. The anti-social behaviour included frequent visitors to the property some of whom are suspected drug dealers. Police had previously raided the property on suspicion that it was being used for drug dealing.

Following a multi-agency meeting with both Housing Trusts, legal advisors, the Police and Ealing Council’s Safer Communities Team, all parties considered that the low level intervention which had been provided was not deterring the tenants from causing serious nuisance at both properties. Other residents and tenants felt intimidated and harassed by the perpetrators. Court action therefore needed to be taken immediately to prevent further nuisance at the properties. Prince Evans made ‘without notice’ applications to the Court for Anti-social Behaviour Injunctions against both the Pathways tenant and his partner from causing nuisance in and around his property. In conjunction, Notting Hill Housing also applied for Anti-social behaviour Injunctions against both tenants to prevent them causing further nuisance at her property. Witness evidence from tenants and residents was provided to the Court as ‘hearsay’ evidence as these witnesses were too afraid to come to Court for fear of reprisals from the perpetrators. The Court granted all 4 Injunctions attaching a power of arrest expiring in May 2013. The Injunctions prevent the tenants from causing nuisance and threatening behaviour in the neighbourhood of both properties.  The orders also prevent illegal drug use at the Notting Hill property and prevent people from congregating both inside and outside the property.

Both the tenants then went on to breach the Injunction orders and were arrested. At a subsequent Court hearing, the Court not only extended the orders until May 2014 but also granted exclusion orders to prevent both tenants from going back to their own homes and from going to each other’s property.

Following this, the tenants again breached the exclusion orders and were produced for committal at Court. The Court took the view that the tenants had shown a blatant disregard for the orders and remanded both in prison for the maximum period of 8 days. In the interim, both Housing Trusts issued possession proceedings against the tenants.

At a further Court hearing in early June, the Court sentenced one of the tenants to a 28 day suspended sentence. The Injunction orders, exclusion orders and power of arrest still remain in place and the matter will be listed for a further hearing where the Court will make a decision in respect of the possession claims.

Luke Stanton, Housing Officer at Pathways Housing Trust commented;

“The injunctions will greatly benefit both Pathways and Notting Hill tenants as their quality of life has been badly affected by this anti-social behaviour. Perpetrators who are responsible for anti-social behaviour have to realise that there are consequences for their actions.”

This case serves as a reminder that together with a multi-agency proactive approach, powerful remedies are available to landlords to take swift action in the most challenging cases.

If you require further information please contact Aisha Akhtar, Solicitor in the Social Housing team on 020 8799 1884.