Hove woman barred from her own home for making life a misery for her neighbours

Posted On 10 Sep 2010 at 3:18 pm

A woman has been barred from her flat in Hove after a court heard claims of drug taking, foul language and abusive behaviour.

Lisa Hollings, 28, had her property “closed” in only the third case of its type in the city.

Brighton magistrates were told about a catalogue of anti-social behaviour at the property – Flat 37 in Conway Court.

Examples included two serious assaults, intimidating neighbours, playing loud music, blood on the walls and dog’s mess in communal areas.

Other problem behaviour associated with the flat included persistent begging, aggressive behaviour from visitors and the slamming of doors.

She was said to have made her neighbours’ lives hell.

The property is next to Honeycroft children’s after school club in Sackville Road.

The court was told that young children were exposed to the risk of used needles discarded in the play area and shouting and swearing.

Brighton Magistrates’ Court awarded Brighton and Hove City Council a closure order under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 this week to end months of persistent anti-social behaviour.

The council said that the successful case was brought through close partnership work with Sussex Police.

It said that a closure order was a last resort and a great deal of work had previously taken place to try to end the anti-social behaviour.

Inspector Jason Hazzard, who leads Hove’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “The legislation used to close this address allows the authorities to give respite to neighbours who have witnessed and suffered anti-social behaviour from this tenant and those that visited her.

“This is the second closure of a property in Hove in the last six months and sends a clear message that there are serious consequences for those that choose to behave in this way.”

Richard Jordan, the council’s social inclusion team manager, said: “Anti-social behaviour has a serious impact on people’s lives and this result sends a clear message that it will not be tolerated in the city.”

He said that the council was committed to acting swiftly and decisively when dealing with tenants making a serious nuisance of themselves.

He added: “We will continue work with the perpetrator to ensure that we are not just moving the problem elsewhere.”

The property was secured immediately after the court hearing and will remain closed for three months.

Any unauthorised person found entering the property during the closure period including the resident and her associates will be committing an offence.

During this period the council will apply for an eviction order.

Councillor Maria Caulfield, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “While these powers are only used as a last resort we cannot allow residents’ or their guests’ behaviour to make neighbours’ lives a misery.

“I applaud the patient and painstaking work by Sussex Police who worked with council officers to provide the evidence needed to close this premises.”

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