Eviction threat after tenancy breach

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A HOUSING group has taken action against a tenant who allowed her home to be used by a loan shark.

Vicky Smith, of Seaton Lane, Hartlepool, was accused of breaching her tenancy agreement in a hearing at Middlesbrough County Court.

Under Housing Hartlepool tenancy agreements, properties must not be used for illegal, criminal, immoral or improper purposes.

She now runs the risk of eviction if she breaches her tenancy agreement again in the next 12 months. It comes after she was served with a demotion order.

Tenants on demoted tenancies also lose the right to buy or exchange properties.

It came after her husband Mark Smith was accused of illegal money lending contrary to section 35 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 at Teesside Crown Court last year.

He admitted a charge of engaging in activities requiring a consumer credit licence and was given a community order with a year’s supervision from the probation service and 120 hours unpaid community work.

Evidence was presented at the county court tenancy hearing that a forensic accountant estimated he had loans totaling £60,948 including £5,000 with interest of 100 per cent.

A Housing Hartlepool spokesman said: “Housing Hartlepool will not tolerate tenants who illegally prey on the vulnerable.

“People struggling to make ends meet will find themselves even worse off if they turn to loan sharks who charge an exorbitant amount of interest on any money borrowed.

 “We would advise anyone who is struggling financially to contact us as we can put them in touch with a range of organisations that can help them get their finances back on track.”