On Monday 2nd October 2017 Douglas Borough Council took possession of a property in Hillside Avenue, Douglas.
Legal proceedings by the council began in June 2016 relating to breaches of the tenancy and this ultimately culminated in a court order for possession of the property.
As this is a private and confidential matter, the council has not publicised all the details of the case and will not be doing so. In this particular case, however, the tenant had a history of irregular payments and repeatedly falling into arrears. The tenant chose not to be represented and out of four court hearings, attended only once. In June 2017 the tenant failed to appear in court after amassing substantial arrears and having made no payments since March 2017. At a hearing on 2nd July 2017 a possession order was made, to be enforced on 1st September 2017 but was extended by one month by the council to allow the tenant time to arrange alternative accommodation.
There have been a number of postings on social media from persons, some anonymous, who have no knowledge of the case and have made misleading assumptions which are unhelpful and inflammatory.
The chair of the council’s housing committee said: ‘I would like to assure our tenants that repossession of any social housing property is the line of last resort, and that the seriousness of such action is never underestimated. However we will take action where breaches occur. The council aims to manage all its social housing properties in a fair manner, in accordance with tenancy agreements, and will continue to do so.’
The leader of the council stated: ‘Thankfully not all members of the public will have been party to the sometimes defamatory and personal information posted on social media. I would urge anyone who wishes to challenge decisions of the council to do so through the proper channels and if in any doubt to contact myself or the chair of the council’s housing committee. In closing let me make it quite clear that while I and the housing committee chair are more than willing to engage with members of the public on any other council matter, absolutely no communication will be conducted via social media.’