New powers close housing association flat
A housing association property has become the first to be closed under new powers that came into force last week.
A flat in Tower Hamlets owned by Circle Anglia’s Old Ford Housing Association has been shut down using a premises closure order and the residents evicted.
Tower Hamlets Council’s anti-social behaviour team took the action after the housing association received numerous complaints from neighbours about frequent late night visits to the flat, and loud music and shouting.
The neighbours also suggested class A drugs were being used in the flat. A police raid found equipment suggesting drugs and been used, but no illegal substances.
Premises closure orders allow the police and local authorities to close down any property for up to three months. They have to be granted by a magistrate, and anyone who breaches an order faces a six month prison sentence and a £5,000 fine.
June Morton, managing director of Old Ford Housing Association, said: ‘The use of the premises closure order legislation… follows a sustained period of anti-social activity from the resident in question. Whilst eviction is only ever a last resort, they had ignored all warnings and continued to make their neighbours lives a misery.
‘We welcome this new legislation which has allowed us to give the other residents a more peaceful place to live, and are working to secure possession of the property as quickly as possible.’