A North West housing association has secured the UK’s first coronavirus injunction to stop one of their tenants ignoring government guidance on social distancing.
Mosscare St Vincent’s secured the injunction after residents on a Manchester estate made complaints about a neighbour hosting large parties, despite the government putting the country on lockdown this week to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Self-isolating residents were left worried after the tenant hosted noisy parties of up to 20 people, flouting current advice for people to keep at least 2 metres apart and to avoid meeting up in person with anyone they don’t live with.
The injunction stops the tenant – who can’t be named for legal reasons – from hosting any visitors to their property, apart from their children, until the current guidance is lifted.
Matt Jones, director of customers at Mosscare St Vincent’s said: “Residents must realise that the restrictions put in place by the government are to minimise the spread of the virus and must be adhered to.
“We will continue to take appropriate action to ensure that residents living in our communities are kept safe during this time of unprecedented risk.”
The serving of the injunction sets down a marker for authorities looking to crack down on residents ignoring coronavirus guidance.
It potentially paves the way for further legal action by local councils and other housing associations keen to keep their tenants safe at this time.
Mosscare St Vincent’s were supported by nearby legal practice Forbes Solicitors to secure the injunction against the tenant.
Amy Stirton, associate solicitor at Forbes Solicitors said: “As a team, we are very well equipped to continue taking urgent steps to protect our clients’ residents and ensure that reckless behaviour is addressed in the most serious way by the courts
“The Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides an array of tools that can be utilised by landlords during this national emergency and this case demonstrates that whilst the court is now compelled to suspend proceedings relating to possession cases, it is still prepared to take steps to ensure that members of the public are protected.”