First rioter given eviction notice

Published: 12 August 2011

A council tenant whose son has appeared in court charged in connection with Monday night’s disturbances in Clapham Junction will today (Friday) be served with an eviction notice.

The tenant is believed to be the first in the country to now be facing the prospect of losing their council-owned home as a result of Monday night's rioting and looting.

The notice is the first stage in the legal process of eviction. The notice gives warning that the council will be seeking possession of the property and that an application will be made to the courts seeking the tenant's eviction. The final decision will rest with a judge sitting at the county court.

Neither the tenant nor their son can be named at this stage for legal reasons.

Wandsworth Council has acted immediately in the wake of local magistrates courts hearings to instigate tough action against tenants or members of their households who were directly involved in the disturbances.
 
Council leader Ravi Govindia welcomed the swift action by the housing department and added: "In Wandsworth we are determined to take the strongest possible action against any tenant or member of their household responsible for the truly shocking behaviour perpetrated on local homes and businesses earlier this week.

"This council will do its utmost to ensure that those who are responsible pay a proper price for their conduct. Ultimately this could lead to eviction from their homes. 

"Our officers will continue to work with the courts to establish the identities of other council tenants or members of their households as more cases are processed in the coming days and weeks."

"Most residents on our housing estates are decent law-abiding citizens who will have been sickened at the scenes they witnessed on their TV screens this week. Many will have seen their places of work trashed at the hands of these rioters. As much as anything else we owe it to them to send out a strong signal that this kind of violence will not be tolerated." 

The council is able to commence eviction proceedings against this tenant for breaching their tenancy agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, which applies to all the council's rented accommodation, all tenants, their household members and visitors are forbidden from a range of criminal and anti-social activities. Breaches of the agreement render them liable to eviction

Cllr Govindia added: "When you move into a council property, you have to agree to comply with certain tenancy conditions. If you break those conditions you risk losing your home.

"There is no room on our estates for people who commit violent crimes, who show no consideration for their neighbours or harass, threaten, intimidate or cause disturbance to others."