Birmingham Police secure closure of HMO in court ruling

Police in Birmingham have today (Tuesday) secured a closure order on Saif Lodge, a house of multiple occupancy in Sandon Road , following extensive reports of anti-social behaviour.

The court ruling has come after months of work by officers and partner agencies, including Birmingham City Council, under the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership to try to resolve issues around alleged drugs activity and prostitution.

The police, with the support of the council, sought the order to prevent any further anti-social behaviour and to safeguard the local community.

Officers from the Harborne and Edgbaston neighbourhood teams worked closely with the city council, local residents and the North Edgbaston Residents Association in securing the closure.

Sergeant Bushra Zarif, from Harborne Neighbourhood team, said: "We are aware of the detrimental impact anti-social behaviour can have on those who live in the area.

"Officers have carried out a number of operations in the area, including executing drugs warrants, as well as carrying out regular high-visibility patrols.

"But due to continuing concerns around the level of support being provided to those living at the premises, and the continuance of ASB and nuisance, the condition of the building and an increasing number of complaints from residents, the decision was taken to apply for a closure notice.

"The premises is used by people who are homeless or recovering from drugs and alcohol dependency, many of whom are themselves vulnerable individuals.

"So we have been working with Birmingham City Council to ensure those residents are provided with suitable alternative accommodation and support."

Rob James, Director of Neighbourhoods for Birmingham City Council, said: "We are determined to tackle all issues that have an adverse impact in our city, and I am pleased that this joint action with WM Police will help residents in the area.

"Funding provided by the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government has enabled us to increase our efforts to ensure this type of accommodation (referred to as ‘Supported Exempt Accommodation’) is fit for purpose and offers the correct support to tenants.

"We will support good landlords to become accredited with our Quality Assurance Standard and Charter of Rights but this closure order sends out a clear signal to all bad landlords that action will be taken against them."

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