Saturday, 25 October 2014

Mother and son evicted for messy garden

A woman and her teenage son have been evicted from their home after failing to tidy their garden.

Joanne Turner, 39, of Wimborne Road in Huyton, Liverpool, and her 16-year-old son were made ‘intentionally homeless’ after ignoring repeated requests and court orders to clear a garden.

Their landlord, Knowsley Housing Trust, won a possession order against Miss Turner on March 7 this year and eviction took place on May 19.

Problems began in 2007 when neighbours complained about the state of the garden.

KHT provided Miss Turner with a skip to clear the area and then in April 2008 the association paid a private company £846 to tidy it, but the problem persisted.

An injunction was issued in February 2010 ordering the tenant to clean the garden and when this was also ignored KHT served a Notice Seeking Possession on Miss Turner.

The garden had still had not been cleaned up when the NSP expired so KHT applied to bring Miss Turner back to court.

When the court date arrived, she failed to attend and the judge awarded possession of the property in 28 days.

Terry Bonner, KHT’s operational director of landlord services, said: ‘Miss Turner was given every opportunity to clear her garden and KHT provided a skip on two occasions.  

‘We do support and advise tenants on issues such as this, but we will take very decisive action where tenants refuse to correct the problem. On behalf of people who care about their community we will act to ensure their community’s environment is protected.’

Readers' comments (24)

  • This is a disgrace! I've seen far worse. It's unkempt but hardly full of rubbish etc. Would be interesting to see what KHT count as support when they say they have given it to the tenant!

    Can't help thinking this pair were an easy target for a RSL looking to flex its muscles!

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  • I wonder what the total cost of this action will be - including the costs associated with finding Ms Turner and her son alternative accommodation, court costs etc - and the future costs when this dysfunctional family continue to come into conflict with accepted societal norms. I sympathise with the landlord, KHT, but would be interested to know whether they tried any other measures to get the garden tidied up that didn't involve eviction.

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  • While not the worst I've seen, was she really incapable of running a lanwmower over the garden once a fortnight? Well, she couldn't be bothered to turn up to court, so I doubt she could be bothered to do that either.

    I'll await the defense brigade to leap on KHT as some sort of evil overlord who leap with glee at such situations just so they can be evil and evict people for petty reasons, because that makes so much sense.

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  • Those asking what other measures KHT took - read the article! They paid for it to be done twice, then tried an injunction (which carries a threat of prison) and they still didn't bother. Eviction was the last resort - what else would have worked? I'd love to hear your suggestions!

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  • Rick Campbell

    There may be more to this than at first sight seems.

    Perhaps the garden was unkempt but it is worth noting that it was a court that granted the possession order as well as making various orders according to the article.

    One would hope that courts did not take possession orders lightly.

    The article highlights that the landlord supplied skips and indicates also paid a sizeable sum to clear the garden.

    One hopes that the staff weren't running around the officve ;cock-a-hoop' when winning possession.

    There are no real winners (other where neighbours had suffered) with an eviction as the tenants (and family if there is one) lose a home and the landlord loses a customer (and possibly is faced with costs to bring the property to a reasonable standard of repair) and is likely to have absorbed the legal costs involved (which round here are reckoned to be circa £8,000).

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  • Nara I think it's more to the case should a supposedly public-benefit company be allowed to dump a multi-thousand pound problem onto the taxpayer because it's got a bit of a weed problem.

    No report from the tenant, no idea if Ms Turner has vulnerabilities, a quick Google search shows the exact same text used in multiple places to report the story, suggesting that it's a cut and paste job on a KHT press release, so unlikely to be the most balanced piece of reporting we'll be seeing.

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  • Certainly not the worst garden I have seen - but then what is underneath those weeds? No comment there. The weed growth is certainly no more than a year and probably far better for the environment than a sterile manicured lawn! If this was a bit of land by a farm no one would be bothered.

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  • Usual Suspect

    I don't have a problem with this some personal responsibility and committment from the tenant to the property and neighbourhood should be expected in return for the provision of somewere to live .

    If she were vunerable that would be different.

    one wonders what state the property is in on the inside inside.

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  • Serves them right - people on social security have a responsibility as all in society to follow minimum standards of behaviour. It would be difficult for others in the neighbourhood to put up with trash.

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  • "Nara I think it's more to the case should a supposedly public-benefit company be allowed to dump a multi-thousand pound problem onto the taxpayer because it's got a bit of a weed problem."

    Oh I agreee, there's insufficient information given how bad it is (the pictures do not look so bad), but then what alternatives are there? It's not like they jumped right for court, just the process of taking it to court would have taken months. They paid for clearing, paid for skips and then gave warnings, and still they did nothing. It's not exactly a massive garden either.

    ------------

    Ofc there are no mentions of vunerability, but I would like to think that were that the case some reporting would have leapt on the chance to mention it.

    If she wasn't vunerable, then she was either, lazy or stubborn to allow something so small to make her homeless.

    While long grass may not be such an issue, a relative of mine has a similar issue with neighbours (although they also chuck their waste bags out in the long grass all the time) and the area is now infested with rats.

    People really should have some responsibility for the area's they live in. Why should others have to suffer?

    I imagine KHT could have offered a regular gardening team, but unless the tenant fancied having that charged in the rent (and if on full HB who would pay for it).

    I would love to hear some other alternatives offered though. Since it seems they provided multiple opportunities/services for the tenant, then warnings, then court. She didn't even bother to react to any of them.

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