Saturday, 28 February 2015

Pinnock family evicted after legal battle

The family at the centre of a landmark court ruling have been evicted after a six-year battle.

Cleveland Pinnock has been evicted from his house in Manchester following a catalogue of crime and nuisance behaviour carried out by his sons, even though he was sole tenant of the property.

Mr Pinnock’s partner, Christine Walker, has also been evicted.

Manchester Council tried to repossess Mr Pinnock’s house in 2005 on the basis that Mr Pinnock’s children and his partner, but not Mr Pinnock himself, had caused a serious nuisance. In 2007, the council successfully applied for an order demoting the tenancy, meaning that he was no longer a secure tenant.

Following further problems, the council applied for a possession order to evict the family, which Manchester County Court granted in December 2008.

Mr Pinnock then appealed against this possession order, citing his human rights.

In July 2009, the Court of Appeal upheld Manchester County Court’s decision to grant Manchester Council possession of the property. Mr Pinnock then appealed to the Supreme Court, but it upheld the possession order.

In the judgement, delivered last November, the Supreme Court ruled courts must test the proportionality of a landlord’s decision to carry out mandatory possession proceedings, meaning a court will take into account a tenant’s personal circumstances. Although this did not affect the outcome of the Pinnock case, it is already having an impact on other hearings.

Geoff Little, Manchester Council’s deputy chief executive, said: ‘The family of Cleveland Pinnock have blighted the community over many years and the community should be relieved that we have now successfully evicted them. The council is committed to ensuring that its tenants do not have to suffer the misery of anti-social and criminal behaviour.

‘He has tried to use the courts to block the process at every step of the way, but we were always clear that we were right to evict him, and we welcome the fact that the Supreme Court has upheld our decision.’

Readers' comments (19)

  • It's unfortunate that only the human rights of the person in the wrong are ever considered by courts, not the human rights of those people who on the receiving end. I can imagine the legal costs for manchester would be 6 figures and the staff time significant too. No doubt even if the costs are awarded the council wont be able to collect them

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  • And what is to stop them moving to a private let in the next street or even next door?

    "The council is committed to ensuring that its tenants do not have to suffer the misery of anti-social and criminal behaviour"

    That claim is total nonsense by the Council who must have spent tens if not hundreds of thousands of public money in pursuing this. The cost effectiveness has to be questioned

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  • Melvin Bone

    So Jack do you think they should have done nothing?

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  • No the Police and the Criminal Justice Organisations should have dealt with the crimes Melvin.

    The council is the same one that spent over £170k getting an asbo against a teenager banning him from 3 streets. Did this arrest the behaviour? No it didnt. The behaviour is what needs to be dealt with not the house in which they live. If the family was an owner occupier what would have been the council spends then? What if it was an RTB property in the middle of a council estate?

    The whole cost angle and the discriminatory nature of social tenants being the responsibility of social landlords is a total farce

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  • I think the difficulty with that choice Jack is that potential perpertrators will quickly appreciate they can act with impunity in some areas without fear of repercussions knowing it will cost too much.

    I appreciate the idea that this cash could be spent in better ways if you look at the behaviour of the individual but it should be hoped that to some it will be seen as a deterrent. Quantifying this is obviously impossible.

    I'm not trying to justify the spending of the money, or even ASBOs, just suggesting it's not just about the money spent on one person.

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  • Simon Reeves | 13/04/2011 9:59 am

    This is because they do not give legal aid anymore. If there was legal aid victims could take their own actions against landlords and antisocial neighbours. There are no human rights without legal aid for victims to enforce them.

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  • As the tenant wasnt the problem I so dont agree with him being made homeless because of the rest of his family, surely they could of been dealt with the way they deserved to be, believe it or not there are a lot of men that are bullied by their wive's/kids etc but just like my-self are to ashamed/embarressed to say so

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  • Gavin Rider

    Jack - you cannot criticise those who try to deal with antisocial or criminal behaviour for the cost of so doing. The blame for this rests with the perpetrators. Perhaps if there was wider realisation of the tremendous cost to society of antisocial behaviour, including the financial cost of having to deal with it through the courts, it would be dealt with more firmly by the police before it ever got to that point.

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  • John B - at the moment perpetrators in essence do act with immunity and this has nothing to do with cost. If they are private tenants or owner ccupiers the full force of the law is used to arrest behaviours. If a social tenant they have a watered down buck passing sanction of a housing officer or in simple terms a much weaker deterrent.

    As for cost this is falling on social landlords because they have been too stupid in taking on so called ASB whereas private tenants and owner occupiers get the Police to deal with such situations out f the council tax that all pay. The added cost of social landlord involvement must also have to be recovered through higher rents eventually and so social tenants are having to pay twice through rent and council tax and getting an inferior service

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  • Chris Webb

    As I returned home last night I witnessed a new tenant in the street suffering harrassment from children of the nearby RTB'd homes. They were causing damage to her fencing and decrying her protests on the grounds that she was only a tenant and the Council would do any repairs anyway. I sent them away with a flea in their ear and do hope their parents come along to complain.

    The issue is that the demonisation of tenants has achieved popular culture such that children now think it acceptable to harrass tenants and damage their property. The incident is 'too low level' to worry the police, and the Council will not act unless the tenant is put at risk.

    Welcome to the successful outcome of only one year of Shapps and Co - and in this instance, as in many others, the social offenders are not tenants.

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  • At most I come to this web-site 3 times a week, one thing I do notice is that all the critisism comes from the same few names day after day, page after page. Do you few that have all this time actually have job's your-selves or are you supported by the government/ tax payer ?????????

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  • Chris Webb

    I am a worker, a Socialist and a taxpayer. I am also a free citizen and a human being.

    I am what I am. Your issue Andrew?

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  • @ Jack Davies

    I think the difference is that social landlords are regulated and monitored on performance and more than that, they tend to be responsible landlords and don't pass the buck when their tenants break the conditions of their tenancy. Nor do they wait for things to get so bad that the police are required.

    when police are required they are called and most landlords work jointly with police to tackle ASB and youth nuisance.

    In terms of cost, how many additional police would it take and at what cost to manage all instances of ASB if landlords decided that it wasn't their business. I'd argue the current solution is preferable as I'd rather we let police get on with more pressing matters.

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  • Andrew Spear | 13/04/2011 1:31 pm

    the fact that you come 3 times a week might well mean you spend three whole day on this website. In fact you might well spend the whole week on this website without ever posting anything. And if you are a housing professional employee what does your employer say about paying for your time?

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  • Melvin Bone

    PSR and me work in the same office and only post on here because we are bored.

    We are both deputy directors of a very large HA.

    PSR Have you finished with my 'What Yacht' magazine yet?

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  • Bonola – “....most landlords work jointly with police to tackle ASB and youth nuisance.” So it is only young people then when the ASB stats show the majority of those awarded are not to youths?
    Your final paragraph uses cost as the reason for the discrimination and lesser service that social tenants receive and attempts to absolve the police for their passing of the buck to social landlords (who admittedly agreed to take on ASB matters in a very foolhardy decision).
    If that is the best justification you have for the Police, whose services are paid for by social tenants, allowing them to receive a service that has no deterrent factor and inferior to the full force of the law that private tenants and owner occupiers get as a matter of course, then its a very poor argument

    By the way des anyone know just how much MCC has spent in staff and legal costs on this one eviction? I cant see any change out of 250k and maybe much more - and the persons evicted can move into a private let next door - wow that reslolves the problem doesnt it!!!

    It would buy a few police officers salaries for a year id bet Bonola!

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  • Chris Webb

    Sorry Melvin - I left it in the Executive Lounge along with your new copy of A Planners Guide to Minimalisation - development beyond 2012.
    Anyway, can't stop - the Berlin Exchange closes soon and I just need to check my holdings.

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  • Meiow!! Loose women eat your hearts out.

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  • Having read this story the most obvious question which springs to mind is where did they go. I have no sympathy for them whatsoever but they obviously went somewhere. If they did not go into privately rented accommodation, unlikely I would have thought without references, have they been dumped on somebody elses doorstep in another authority ?

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