Eviction for 'rat woman' after 10-month ASB rampage
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Legal
Woman evicted after blaming poltergeist for party noises
A social housing tenant has been evicted from her home after a spate of anti-social behaviour, including encouraging rats to congregate.
Landlord Sovereign Housing Association took action after the woman's neighbours suffered a 10-month ordeal at her hands.
Sovereign first received reports of her nuisance behaviour in March 2013, when apparently drunk she would stand in the street, shouting and screaming late into the evening.
Parents refused to let their children play in their gardens because of the 52-year-old's offensive language.
Concerns were also raised about a worrying number of rats, largely caused by the woman leaving large amounts of food waste in her garden.
“We made several visits to the woman’s home to explain the impact of her behaviour and advised her of the need to tidy up her garden,” explained Louise Borzoni, Sovereign’s anti-social behaviour officer. “We also involved the mental health team and alcohol support services. However, the woman refused any offers of support.”
The tenant continued to break the rules of her tenancy through her inappropriate behaviour and lack of care for her property, so in May 2013 Sovereign applied to Chippenham and Trowbridge County Court for an injunction order.
Though she made an undertaking to the court not to engage in certain behaviours, she broke the terms of the agreement within 48 hours.
In August 2013, the court granted an injunction order with power of arrest. Once again, the woman broke the terms immediately. She was arrested and given a seven-day custodial sentence.
Within a month, she was arrested again for her behaviour and sentenced to 35 days in prison.
“Unfortunately, time in prison did not improve her behaviour. In fact, it got worse, and was having a more damaging impact on the other residents in the street,” Louise Borzoni said.
In November 2013 Sovereign applied for a possession order, which was granted by the court. The woman also received an exclusion order, meaning that she can be arrested if she returns to the street.
Louise Borzoni: said: “We gave this woman every opportunity to change her behaviour. But she constantly refused help and we felt that we were out of options.
“Our primary concern was for the other residents in the street. Many are still feeling very upset by their experience but are relieved that they can now get on with their lives.
“We are really pleased with the outcome. Most of all, we are committed to making sure our homes and neighbourhoods are desirable places to live: places where residents can feel safe and happy in their community.”