· Within the last 5 years, how many council tenants was served abatement orders
· How many of tenants was evicted because following abatement notices due to noise disturbance
· The average length of time the procedure takes from abatement notice to eviction
1.Within the last 5 years, how many council tenants was served abatement orders –
The database used to record details of complaints investigated does not contain any information relating to the property ownership and is not cross-referenced to the Council housing database therefore we are unable to identify whether an abatement notice has been served on a Council tenant. In order to be able to determine this it would be necessary to match each complaint to the current list of tenants.
2• How many of tenants was evicted because following abatement notices due to noise disturbance -
From our records we have not evicted any tenant in the last 5 years following the issuing of a noise abatement notice. Courts would not grant an eviction order where an abatement notice had been served. The sanction to evict would be considered by the courts disproportionate to the issue. Recent case law means that a landlord has to prove that they have exhausted all possible remedies and that eviction is proportionate to the offence. If the notice was breached and evidenced by Environmental Health and the tenant was prosecuted, we would monitor to see if there were further breaches. If the prosecution brings about a change in behaviour by the tenant then we would review the situation and probably take no further action. If at this point the nuisance continued and breaches were evidenced, we would instigate legal proceedings to evict. These proceedings would include evidence of the breaches witnessed by Environmental Health officers and possible require residents to give formal witness statements and be prepared to give evidence in court is needed.
3• The average length of time the procedure takes from abatement notice to eviction –
Service of an abatement notice does not lead to eviction; the penalty for failing to comply with an abatement notice is a fine at Magistrates Court on conviction. If the property is Council owned we will advise the Housing service of the notice and they will determine whether any action is necessary under the terms of the tenancy agreement. It is possible that the landlord may seek possession, using the notice as evidence that the tenant has failed to comply with the requirements of the agreement however we are not necessarily involved in these cases.