'It's not fair', claim couple evicted from flat for anti-social behaviour in Milton Keynes

A couple forced to leave their flat under a closure order have spoken out from their hotel room provided by the council.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 1:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 1:55 pm

The 29-year-old male and 34-year-old female had to quit their flat on Friday afternoon after the courts granted an order to close down the property for three months.

Police say the order was in relation to reports of anti-social behaviour.

The couple, whose names have been withheld for legal reasons, dispute they behaved badly.

The closure order was granted by magistrates

"They are blaming us for things that happened two or three years ago, when we had a major drug problem and were mixing with the wrong people. Over lockdown we've been really good and we've had hardly any visitors," said the man.

He said they were evicted at 2pm from the flat, which is in Cleavers Avenue on Conniburrow, and claims they were not given time to pack any possessions.

"We had nothing with us and nowhere to go. We walked around for a bit then slept under an underpass. We had to huddle together to keep warm because we didn't have a blanket. We couldn't call the council for help because our phone was out of charge and there was nowhere to plug in a charger."

The following day the couple managed to contact MK Council's homeless department and it was agreed they could stay at the Travelodge hotel at the city centre.

Police went to court to get a closure order on the flat

"We're living in just one room. We don't know how long we'll be here for. It seems crazy that the council are paying for us to be in a hotel when we have our own flat, which we're not allowed to go to for three months. It's just not fair."

The couple are hoping the council will find them another permanent home before the three months expires.

"We want a fresh start, somewhere else in MK. We're sick of people moaning about us," said the man.

"We're doing our best to get off drugs. We had a problem with crack and heroin a couple of years ago, but now I'm taking my Methadone and I only use drugs occasionally... We've never smoked weed or anything."

MK Council refused to comment on the temporary eviction, saying it was a matter for the police.

A Thames Valley police spokesman said: "A closure order was applied for at Cleavers Avenue, Conniburrow, Milton Keynes, in relation to reports of anti-social behaviour. The order was granted by Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court."

A closure order prohibits access for a specified period to premises where anti social behaviour has happened . The police or a local authority can initiate the process if they believe there is, or is likely to be, a nuisance to members of the public or disorder relating to the premises and in its vicinity

The order must be necessary to prevent occurrence or re-occurrence of the nuisance or disorder.

Before issuing a closure notice or order, the police or local authority must inform the owner, landlord and anyone living on the premises. They must also consult any person or agency they consider appropriate.

Failure to comply with the order is a criminal offence.