Tenant left dead dog in kitchen
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Legal
A social housing tenant is facing eviction after her landlord discovered a dead dog in her kitchen.
Salix Homes made the macabre discovery at the home of Margaret Martin, of Monsal Avenue, Salford.
Besides the decomposing animal, which had been dead for several days, housing officers found piles of rubbish and dog faeces scattered about the premises.
The landlord took legal after last April's discovery and the tenant has now been hit with a suspended possession order.
At a hearing last month, Manchester County Court heard how Martin allowed her property to fall into an appalling state after taking up residence in 2007. The court was told that she was in breach of her tenancy by failing to keep her home in an acceptable condition, and for refusing Salix Homes access to the property in order to carry out inspections.
Housing officers made numerous attempts to support Martin in cleaning up the property and deal with the tenancy issues, but she refused to engage and accept any help or support.
The court granted a three-year SPO to Salix, the conditions of which stipulate that Martin must ensure the property is kept in an acceptable condition.
She also must not keep an animal at, or allow an animal into the property.
A breach of the order could lead to the 62-year-old being evicted.
The discovery of the dead dog also led to the RSPCA seeking legal action against Martin. She appeared at Manchester Magistrates' Court in February, where she pleaded guilty to the charge of failure of duty of care towards an animal which is contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006. She is due to be sentenced for this offence on March 12.
Claire Taylor, Salix's tenancy enforcement officer, said: “This has been a very difficult case for everyone involved and we welcome the court’s decision to grant us a three year SPO.
“Margaret Martin had allowed the property to fall into a terrible state. The house and garden was piled high with rubbish and the conditions that the emaciated dog had been kept in were absolutely appalling.
“Our officers made numerous attempts to engage with Martin to assist her to clean up the property in order to maintain her tenancy, but she refused to co-operate or even allow us access to the property, which is a serious breach of tenancy and one that we take very seriously.
“We will now be monitoring Martin closely to ensure she complies with the terms of the Order, but if she is found to be in breach of the Order Salix Homes has the legal right to enforce the Possession Order, which could lead to eviction.”