Tenants quizzed on antisocial behaviour

One of the country’s largest local authorities has had the highest number of face-to-face interviews with tenants over antisocial behaviour and the highest legal bill for bringing cases to court.

Fingal County Council, which covers a huge swathe of north and west Dublin, had to hold 228 office-based interviews with tenants in the past 18 months.

Its legal bill for dealing with cases of antisocial behaviour, while relatively modest at €39,133, is still higher than any other local authority in the same period.

In addition to the formal interviews — 66 of which were conducted in the first six months of this year — Fingal County Council also issued 35 written warnings against tenants in 2011 and issued another 20 written warnings in the first half of this year.

The council recovered possession of seven antisocial tenancies in 2011 and three to date in 2012.

The figures come after other large local authorities revealed they had received hundreds of requests from other tenants seeking a transfer as a result of alleged antisocial behaviour by their neighbours.

Just this month in west Dublin a woman faced allegations that she assaulted a next-door neighbour and that she damaged a car.

She is due in court in the months ahead but is not consenting to move to temporary alternative accommodation being offered by the Council.

A spokesperson for the local authority said other informal interviews were held with a number of tenants away from the 228 formal interviews.

The spokesperson said that: “Fingal County Council has extensive contact with complainants and alleged perpetrators of antisocial behaviour.”

Fingal County Council used 11 excluding orders during 2011 and 12 to date in 2012.

The local authority said it receives “a significant number of housing transfer applications each year” but that it was unable to specify how many of these were related to anti-social behaviour.

A spokesperson said: “Transfer requests are generally sought on a combination of the following grounds: overcrowding, downsizing, medical, antisocial behaviour, family circumstances, or family welfare issues for example.”

Two weeks ago it emerged that within the six other large urban local authorities almost 1,500 new antisocial behaviour cases have been opened in the past 18 months, while at least 200 applications for transfer had been made by tenants in four local authorities.

These included some transfer requests being made on the basis of “a serious threat to life”, although the figures varied across the local authority areas.

Many local authorities reported an increase in the number of antisocial behaviour cases they were now dealing with, but the number of cases ultimately brought to court remains relatively low, with many actions subject to appeal.


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