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Tenant given court order over anti-social behaviour

Uttlesford District Council has successfully obtained restraining orders against a tenant who installed an unauthorised security light at his sheltered housing property and who was abusive and threatening to neighbours and council officers.

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The tenant was also abusive and threatening to neighbours and council officers.

Brian Wales, of Priors Wood Court in Takeley, installed the external light to the front of the sheltered housing block last year. This was in breach of his tenancy agreement and carried out with no prior consultation with the council.

Aside from security and health and safety issues related to the alteration to the building, neighbours claimed that the light was intrusive as it shone into their properties. When approached about this, Mr Wales was found to be dismissive and abusive to them, and also to officers of the council's Housing Team who visited him to discuss the issue.

The council sought injunctions against Mr Wales his behaviour under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and for breach of his tenancy in relation to the light.

At a hearing at Chelmsford County Court on 26 July, Judge David Vavrecka found in favour of the council.

Mr Wales has now removed the light. His conduct was also found to have amounted to anti-social behaviour, and he is forbidden from using threatening, abusive or insulting language towards the residents of Priors Wood Court and Priors Wood Road, and to council Members, staff, contractors and agents, for a period of two years.

Cllr Julie Redfern, Cabinet Member for Housing said: "It is a last resort for us to take this kind of action and not something we do lightly. The outcome of this case is satisfying as tenants were brave enough to support the action and give evidence in person.

"It is difficult for the council to help tenants suffering from anti-social behaviour if those making the complaint are worried and unable to support the council through the court process."

Mr Wales was also ordered to pay £13,500 in costs.

9 August 2017