Belfast Telegraph

Rathcoole nuisance tenant thrown out

by Chris McCann

Housing bosses in north Belfast have moved to evict a tenant over anti-social behaviour.

The courts granted the Housing Executive an Order for Possession of a flat in Rathcoole “due to persistent anti-social behaviour by the tenant, causing nuisance and annoyance to neighbours”.

The move comes as one local community group considers rolling out a ‘community charter’ project in a bid to remind residents of what is expected of them when they move into the area.

A pilot programme is currently being run in Carrickfergus by the South and East Antrim Community Federation.

Newtownabbey deputy mayor Tommy Kirkham said Rathcoole had been experiencing problems with “youths gathered in blocks of flats” of late.

On the recent eviction, Sharon Crooks, Newtownabbey 1 district manager at the Housing Executive said the move was a “last resort”.

“As a housing authority, we do not want to see people losing their homes. However, we have a duty to the vast majority of residents in our housing areas who are law abiding and have a right to be able to live in peace.

“In dealing with anti-social behaviour, staff in the Newtownabbey Office, supported by our area community safety officer, work to resolve problems through early intervention and mediation.

“This approach is often successful, preventing the need for more serious action to be taken. We work closely with a range of other agencies, dependent on the nature of the problem, to try to achieve a solution by agreement. Where court action remains the only option, we depend on support in the local community. We cannot take legal action for breach of tenancy conditions without evidence — a court will not remove a tenancy without proof.

“In this case, despite repeated attempts by our staff and others to remedy the situation, unfortunately the problem persisted and left us with no alternative but to seek this Order for Possession through the Court.

“We will continue to work with residents to resolve issues of anti-social behaviour where they exist, however we will not hesitate to take Court action should the circumstances and evidence warrant this,” she added.

Newtownabbey deputy mayor Tommy Kirkham added: “People like to live in peace and quiet. I haven’t been one to back the Housing Executive 100 percent as I don’t like the idea of evictions. But if this was the only alternative, then I’ve no choice, but to support it.”

Anyone experiencing anti-social behaviour can call 03448 920900 and ask for Newtownabbey 1 District Office.

Belfast Telegraph


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