Council tenant faces eviction and gets jail sentence after threat to burn down neighbour’s house

A council tenant has been evicted and was handed a 20-week jail sentence following a history of anti-social behaviour which saw her threaten to burn down a neighbour’s house.

Sonia Wells, 56, has been thrown out of her three-bedroom home in Comyns Road, Dagenham, after Barking and Dagenham Council said it successfully won an outright possession order following a hearing at Romford County Court on Wednesday, April 12.

Ms Wells had a history of anti-social behaviour including racial abuse, harassment, intimidation, and shouting insults, as well as threatening to burn down a neighbour’s house, a council spokesperson said.

After attacking her neighbour, Ms Wells was handed a 20-week jail sentence and council enforcement officers have begun the repossessing of the property.

Cllr Syed Ghani, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said he hoped the case would send a “strong message” to others who are “making people’s lives a misery”.

He said: “Our tenancy conditions are quite clear, and anyone found breaking them can expect to deal with the consequences.

“We operate a zero-tolerance approach to any kind of anti-social behaviour because of the detrimental impact it has on neighbours and the wider community.

“Everyone has the right to enjoy peace and quiet in their homes and we hope this sends a strong message to anyone else making people’s lives a misery.”

An outright possession order means the tenant must leave the property by a set date that has been proposed by the landlord.

It is usually two weeks after the order is made and the landlord has the power to ask the court to evict the tenant through a “warrant of possession” if the tenant hasn’t left by the set date.

If this happens, a court bailiff will carry out an eviction.

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Ruby Gregory

Local Democracy Reporter