`Tenants from hell' evicted

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The Independent Online
A family of 17, branded "the neighbours from hell", are to be evicted from their home after 500 complaints, a council said yesterday.

Mother-of-10 Kay Potts and her extended family were given 48 hours to leave their council house in Wythenshawe, Manchester, after a judge granted the city council a repossession order.

Mrs Potts was ordered to move out after Salford County Court heard a catalogue of complaints from outraged neighbours.

"Members of the family were chronically noisy, used abusive language and threatened violence towards their neighbours and were involved in vandalism and burglary," a Manchester city council spokeswoman said.

Mrs Potts, 50, hit the headlines 17 months ago after police arresting her on charges of handling stolen goods put down "ugly" as her occupation.

She had been sharing her three-bedroomed family home, designed for six, with up to 17 people, after moving in two years ago.

The family, who have clocked up more than 500 complaints to the council from neighbours, had been evicted from their previous council house in Manchester for causing a nuisance.

Three of their neighbours, who kept a diary of the Potts' behaviour, gave evidence to the court after an injunction last year failed to have any effect.

"In the teeth of harassment and intimidation, these extraordinarily brave individuals were determined to appear in court to fight for themselves and their community," a council spokeswoman said.

One neighbour, Gerard Ridings, 57, said yesterday: "To call them the neighbours from hell is an understatement. They're an evil lot."

Mr Ridings, a keen gardener, who had had bricks thrown at him, his greenhouse shattered, his home vandalised and his garage set on fire, said: "In the end I'd just had enough."

Chair of housing at Manchester council, Claire Nangle, praised the "courageous" tenants for "helping to end a nuisance which has caused so much misery".

"This is an important and successful story in the fight against anti- social behaviour," she said.

The council's policy was to find evicted families temporary accommodation while their case was reviewed but the judgement made it clear that families like the Potts must mend their ways, she said.

A spokesman for Mrs Potts' solicitor said she had no comment to make.