Noisy neighbour to be evicted in landmark case
Published by Riverside for Riverside in Housing and also in Communities
Social landlord Riverside has won a landmark case to evict a Liverpool woman who terrorised her neighbours and subjected them to wild parties.
Sharon Thomas, 38, has been ordered to leave her home in Marmaduke Street, Kensington, after Mr Justice Ryder found in favour of Riverside in the High Court at Manchester District Registry.
Riverside started receiving complaints about Ms Thomas’ behaviour soon after she moved into the flat in April 2009.
Riverside received complaints that Ms Thomas, who was in the probationary period of her starter tenancy, would verbally abuse her neighbours, threaten to kill them and spit in their faces. On one occasion, the police were called to her flat after she allegedly came outside brandishing a knife while drunk.
Witnesses statements described how the neighbours have suffered from sleep deprivation because of loud parties into the early hours of the morning and are afraid of entering and leaving their own homes because of the intimidation caused by Ms Thomas sitting at the communal entrance to the block of flats with friends drinking, swearing, screaming and smashing bottles.
Some neighbours have even been forced to stay in family members homes for respite for long periods of time because they couldn’t take any more.
One neighbour said: “It is starting to look like a derelict property again after thousands of pounds have been spent making the place look nice.”
Thomas admitted anti-social behaviour and playing loud music, but denied the other claims.
In March 2010, Ms Thomas was made the subject of an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction for breaching her tenancy conditions but by January 2011, Riverside was back in court following several breaches of the injunction.
Mr Justice Ryder rejected Ms Thomas’s defence that eviction was not a proportionate measure of dealing with the anti-social behaviour on grounds of her human rights. Ms Thomas’ argument that UK law was incompatible with European law was also rejected.
Josephine Sharrock, Solicitor at Brabners Chaffe Street, representing Riverside said: “This is a landmark case because it addresses the way in which landlords can exercise their housing management functions when dealing with the perpetrators of anti-social behaviour during a probationary period of their tenancy.
“The High Court was satisfied that there ought to be a relatively low threshold for termination of a probationary tenancy, subject to the necessary procedural safeguards being in place, such as an internal review procedure as in this case.”
Tom McGuire, Riverside’s Lead Director on anti-social behaviour, said: “Despite being warned that she was at risk of losing her home and promises that the behavior would stop, Miss Thomas continued to disturb the peace.
“Even an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction was not enough to encourage her to control her behaviour so we had no choice but to seek possession of her flat.
“We are committed to ensuring that our tenants and residents are able to live in a safe, secure and nuisance free environment. We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour in our communities.”
To report anti-social behavior call Riverside on 0845 111 0000.