A "LIVING hell" endured by Tiverton residents has ended after noisy yobs who subjected neighbours to a barrage of loud music and anti-social behaviour were expelled from a Westexe flat.
Less than a week after speakers, amplifiers and other hi-fi equipment were seized at the property in Wesexe North, Mid Devon District Council secured a court order enabling the property to be boarded up for three months.
Music was played so loud at the ground-floor property that floorboards in adjoining properties shook, neighbours said.
One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said they had endured a "living hell" in recent months.
They said the flat would host parties that sometimes went on for more than 24 hours. At times the tenants would sleep throughout the day, before receiving many visitors at night.
The neighbour said the situation had become so bad, their grandchildren had stopped coming to stay while the rowdy tenants were in the council property.
Complaints logged with police and the council included reports not just of loud music but of shouting and screaming, noisy vehicles and threats and intimidation. This led to the council taking the unprecedented action of applying for a closure order on one of its own properties, which has now been boarded up.
The exterior has been left in a poor condition with a sofa and a bicycle among items discarded at the front of the property, which has now been sealed off.
A copy of the court order which made the closure possible has been pinned to a fence at the property.
The order bans the tenant 21-year-old Kane Thomas – or anyone else – from entering the property unless by prior agreement with the council or the police, and then only to collect belongings.
The action follows a three-month investigation into the tenants' reign of anti-social behaviour, which has involved close working between the council, police and Mid Devon Community Safety Partnership.
The tenant moved into the property in March but the council said complaints relating to the property escalated in the last few weeks.
A spokesperson for Mid Devon's housing department said: "It is a very serious step to take as those living at the property will now have to find alternative accommodation."
A Closure Order, under part 1A and section 11A of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, was granted to the council at Exeter Magistrates Court last Thursday.
Under the order, the property will be boarded up for three months with the option to extend this to six months if required.
PC Saren Isaac, from the Tiverton neighbourhood team, said: "The individuals living at this address have no regard for the community and have shown their disrespect.
"We are fully supportive of the action the council have taken and it will ensure that the local residents get some respite."
Councillor Ray Stanley, Mid Devon cabinet member for housing, said: "The council will not tolerate this type of behaviour, whether from our tenants or other residents."