PENSIONERS told of their relief after the eviction of an alcoholic who made their lives a misery with fighting and screaming late at night and urinating and vomiting in the street outside.
Sheffield County Court granted Sheffield Homes and Sheffield Council a possession order against Simon Hampshire, aged 37, of Trueman Grove, Deepcar.
Hampshire lived there with his partner Michelle Houghton, 35,for just under a year. The court heard the pair plagued neighbours by arguing, shouting and swearing, smashing windows and being verbally abusive to neighbours. Most of the behaviour was ‘fuelled by alcohol’.
But concerns have been raised about why Hampshire was allocated the property in an area where mainly elderly people live - especially as he had a ‘troublesome past’, Stocksbridge councillor Jack Clarkson said.
Sheffield Homes said it was unaware of Hampshire’s history.
To prevent any future problems at Trueman Grove, the flat from which he has been evicted has been given ‘sensitive let’ status meaning officers must take care with future tenants.
One pensioner who is a tenant in the block said: “I think it’s wonderful that Sheffield Homes are going to take care when placing a tenant there in the future, but this should never have happened to begin with.
“We were having problems with Hampshire and his girlfriend ever since they moved in last November. We are so relieved they have gone.
“The stress of putting up with them made me ill. I wasn’t getting any sleep. They would fight and scream and shout all night.
“You’d see them rolling about in the street outside and vomiting and urinating in public.”
The pensioner said problems were so bad a neighbour started spending nights at relatives’ houses to escape the problems.
“The sad thing is that the flat given to Hampshire had only just been done up before he moved in. Thousands had been spent on it. Now it’s boarded up and smells, and more money will have to be spent putting it right.”
Coun Clarkson, a retired policeman, said: “I heavily criticised the council’s homeless section at the time for placing this tenant with a troublesome past among elderly people.
“Officers should ensure they do their homework to ensure anyone with a troublesome past is not placed among elderly and vulnerable people.
“Homeless people have to be rehoused but with a little consideration situations such as this could have been avoided. It also created extra work for the police and Sheffield Homes. The homeless section are supposed to be professionals yet in this case they created a living nightmare for elderly tenants”.
Lorraine Greeves, tenancy support and enforcement manager for Sheffield Homes, said: “We work carefully to ensure people get appropriate housing. When the property was let to the tenant there was no previous history of anti-social behaviour of which we were aware.
“It is important to stress that when breaches of tenancy regulations do occur, they are always taken seriously and this can lead to enforcement action. In serious cases such as this, we evicted the tenant.”