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Tenant convicted of drug offences facing eviction

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Tenant convicted of drug offences facing eviction

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Published by James Allan for Salix Homes in Housing and also in Communities

A social housing tenant with a string of convictions for growing cannabis at her home could face eviction.

Social housing provider Salix Homes, supported by New Barracks Tenant Management Co-operative, sought legal action against tenant Wendy Higginbotham, of Regent Square, Ordsall, Salford, after she was convicted of cultivating a cannabis farm at the property.

Higginbotham, 48, appeared at Manchester Civil Justice Centre on Friday, July 25 where the Judge granted landlord Salix Homes a six year Suspended Possession Order (SPO) which is the longest SPO ever handed out in Salford.

Under the terms of the Order, Higginbotham must adhere to the terms of her tenancy agreement and must not allow any illegal drugs in the property at any time.  If she is found to be in breach of the Order within the next six years she could lose her home.

As part of the Order, Salix Homes can also carry out unannounced inspections at the property at any time.

In September 2012, police raided the property and discovered 50 cannabis plants growing in an upstairs room. It was the third time a cannabis farm had been discovered by police at the property.

In July last year, Higginbotham was convicted of the cultivation of the Class B drug cannabis and was given an eight month prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

The Judge at Manchester Civil Justice Centre warned Higginbotham today (Friday) that she was now on her “last chance”.

Claire Taylor, tenancy enforcement manager at Salix Homes, said: “We welcome the judge’s decision to grant Salix Homes a record six year Suspended Possession Order in this case. If Wendy Higginbotham is found to be in breach of the Order, we now have the legal right to enforce the Possession Order, which could lead to eviction.

“Salix Homes takes a zero tolerance approach towards our properties being used for criminal purposes. The cultivation and supply of drugs causes a real blight in our communities and we hope this case sends out a clear message that we will always take action against tenants who are convicted of criminal behaviour in our properties and across our estates.”

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