Communities and Local Government CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by Stewart Morris

One part of the private rented sector that should be tightened up is Houses in Multiple Occupation, the landlords need to be given more powers to control nuisance tenants.

Even if the local Council bring in compulsory HMO licensing that still does not give the landlords enough power to stop nuisance to neighbours without an expensive court order, by the time that is granted any student tenants have completed their year and gone of their own accord.

I live in Polygon Southampton, a 90% student occupied area and over 20 years workers and the retired have moved away to avoid more student bad behaviour.

The excerpts from the diary below kept by the Residents Action spokesperson, show her attempts to contain the problem and in some way keep down anti-social behaviour.

Council Noise Nuisance officers cannot get out to all houses to check loud noise and even if they do cannot issue Noise Abatement as the noisy households are few houses away from the complainants, only a personal visit from me or another resident can sometimes cut down on the noise at that time.

A few examples of how the system does not work are—during past four years—houses where noise been complained about for a year are 44 Harborough, 48 and 44 Devonshire Road, 80 Wilton Ave 18 months, 40 Harborough two years, all houses in multiple Occupation.

We always complain to Council, Solent University, lettings agents and police but none of them were able to stop ongoing loud music and ASB at the mentioned houses.

Residents Action Crime/ASB/Noise Diary Polygon and Fitzhugh Area 2011 October to December.

Oct 1 Just before 02.00 Two men with stolen roads signs, stop sign on post and square sign come from Henstead and enter Coventry Road on the east side.

04.00 Rushed out to see who was banging knocker and shouting toward Wilton Ave, loud music and shouting was coming from the upper front room at student HMO Harborough.

Ambulance in road at 05.10.

Report of car scratched with key in Coventry Road.

Wing mirrors pulled off too numerous to report or type up in all Polygon streets for past 20 years.

Report of loud music from student HMO in Devonshire Road in evening.

Loud music from upper front of HMO Harborough Road until 23.30.

Oct 2 Loud music from upper front room at HMO Wilton Ave at 14.00.

Oct 3rd St Moores agent promised to get obscene poster removed from front window of HMO in Kenilworth.

Very loud radio type sound from HMO Wilton Ave at 16.35.

Police helicopter flying over Polygon/City most of afternoon.

Oct 5 Milton Road resident awoken by drunken girl student shouting at 02.40.

Police called to HMO in Harborough Road at 04.45 as man tried to climb up front to open upper window.

Noisy party until 03.00 at HMO in Cromwell Road.

Daily Echo had news of night sexual assaults on girls in Bedford Place area on Sept 21st in Vernon Walk at 00.20 and Sept 28th in Carlton Crescent.

Echo report of attack on man returning home from night club, he was punched several times and his mobile phone stolen in Newcombe Road.

Oct 6 Loud music after midnight from HMO in Harborough Road, also during night bins kicked over.

Car wing mirror damaged, belongs to long term resident in Milton Road.

Oct 7th/8th Bike stolen from family home in Devonshire Road.

Oct 8 Last night loud music from two HMOs in Milton Road, long term residents went out to deal with it.

Oct 9 03.30 fight and disturbance in Wilton/Harborough when noisy crowd including students had one of their group punched by a man.

Also two church advertising boards had plastic glass stolen in Devonshire Road.

Oct 11 Report of all night music last week at HMO in Sandhurst Road.

Very loud music from HMO in Cromwell Road until 23.00.

Men visiting HMO in Harborough kicked over bins.

Oct 12 02.00 Road sign thrown out of top window in Harborough Road, 02.30 went to HMO in Newcombe about music, shouting crowd of visitors to two HMOs in Harborough just after, at 03.30 awoken by men shouting in Harborough.

02.30 Drunken girl alone in Cromwell Road woke up residents with noisy phone call. Solent Uni, PCSOs and police delivered booklets about students being good quiet neighbours in Polygon early evening.

Had to go to HMO about loud music from upper front room in Harborough at 22.40.

Oct 13 At 00.10 and 02.10 had to go to another Harborough HMO about loud music from front of house.

Police van visit in Kenilworth and police car in Harborough during the day.

At 13.00 went to different HMO about loud music in Harborough.

All house noise is from Solent students except in Wilton Ave house.

Four visits in evening to Harborough HMO about loud music, they went out at 10.15, crowd came back 03.45 and I asked them to not play any more music.

Before this at 22.45 I went to HMO opposite in Harborough about loud music, they was a disco deck and disc jockey in the kitchen. They shut the door and kept it as quiet as they could, guests left about 4.30 and quiet but audible music finished at 05.15 on Oct 14th.

Oct 14 Rude word written on car and wing mirror damaged in Devonshire road, also front gate kicked in.

All night loud music from HMO in Milton Road.

Oct 15 I had to go to two HMOs in Harborough as residents were talking and drinking in their front gardens at 02.30, I then went on to HMO in Newcombe Road where men in back garden had woken me up, I spoke to the men there, on way back at 03.05 front of house drinkers still there so I told them to go in and they did.

A drunken man came from Wilton Ave, was staggering all over the road, I got to opposite my home and found a man and woman with pants and trousers down fornicating on the front wall of an HMO, being filmed by a mobile phone held by someone hidden behind a car.

The couple swore at me and shouted, very angry, they were joined by the drunken man and they all banged on the door of the HMO, more swearing at me, the resident there told them to go away, then they tried to get in HMO next door but girls there said they did not know them. The swearing couple then walked away towards Wilton Ave.

At 02.30 in Henstead Road two girls were fighting and fell down drunk outside pensioners flats Thorners Court, they were still there at 06.30 this morning.

Three night time fights among drunken girls in that road this week.

Daily Echo Saturday Review had two page article on Carnage and students, report of party in Harborough Road.

Oct 16 Police visit and man arrested at HMO all night party in Harborough Road.

Report of complaints about loud music from HMOs in Coventry Road.

Sunday morning- Milton Road resident came across students with bare bums doing photographic protect outside school. He remonstrated and they were abusive to him, then one walked all the way to the Bedford Place Co-op with his bare bum exposed.

Oct 19 During night brick wall damaged at 87 Milton and report of same at 35 Devonshire Road.

Car wing mirror cover kicked off in Harborough.

Oct 22 At 03.10 16 bins kicked over in Harborough Road.

During night men arrested for breaking into car in Devonshire Road.

Oct 23 Wing mirror damaged at Harborough/Wilton corner and wiper pulled off in Coventry, at Wilton end.

Oct 24 Bins over during night in Kenilworth and Harborough.

Oct 25 Went to Harborough HMO about loud music, noise maker argued that was only 21.00 and I had no right to complain, said they could play loudly any time they like (but the music went off).

Noisy after 02.00 in Kenilworth.

Oct 26 Woken during night by man shouting. Bins over in Kenilworth.

Oct 30 At 02.20, 03.20 and 04.30 had to go to HMO Harborough about party music from disco deck in the kitchen.

Nov 1 Two agents signs uprooted and thrown on pavement in Wilton Ave.

Nov 2 Awoken by two fireworks from garden in Newcombe Road at 03.10.

Nov 5 01.00 Three police cars attend Carnage fracas at outside Revolution Bedford Place, young man arrested for attack on two men, one needed six stitches, the other seven stitches.

Noticed that front door at HMO 16 Kenilworth was boarded up after damage.

Nov 7 01.00 Man attacked for phone and kicked in the face in Carlton Road.

Nov 12 Seven bins kicked over in Harborough Road at 03.45.

Three agents signs pulled out of gardens.

Man seen repairing smashed window at Baptist Church, on Kenilworth Road side.

Nov 13 01.30 Students returned to HMO Kenilworth, played loud music and shouted/banged on wall of 17 causing distress to the occupiers there.

Several bottles rolling around and some smashed outside 51 Wilton Ave.

Report of mirror smashed in road in Fitzhugh area.

Nov 15 Two policemen visit HMO in Wilton Ave at 10.0.

Nov 16 Report of burglary in Harborough Road.

Shopping trolley rammed into back of car in Milton Road.

Nov 18 Loud music from HMO in Sandhurst Road at 17.00.

Nov 19 Went to HMO in Harborough about loud rock music at 01.00.

22.30 In Milton Road by closed down pub, drunken girl lay in road with her legs in the air, another girl stood by holding bottle of beer, young man took down trousers and put his bum into the face of the girl on the road.

Nov 20 Noisy arrival of group at 02.45 and an hour of audible music at HMO Harborough Road Later woken by man passing along road shouting and kicking bin.

Nov 21/22 Wheelie bin set on fire in Wilton Ave between Harborough and Newcombe.

Very loud night time music started at 22.30 and party at HMO in Kenilworth Road.

Loud afternoon music from HMO in Sandhurst Road.

Report on pavement barriers thrown all over the road in Newcombe.

Nov 23 Police came to HMO Harborough approx 03.00 after group of men gone round back/one had tried to open front door with a strip of plastic taken from front garden at 29.

Nov 27 01.10 Very loud music from HMO Harborough Road, at 03.15 crowd came to house shouting and banging to get in. All outside making noise for over five minutes.

Nov 28 Report that two cars had smashed windows in Wilton Ave, outside houses 23 and 47, photos taken.

Dec 7 03.30 Loads of bins knocked over in Milton Road and some in Wilton Ave.

Dec 10 Car windscreen wiper off in Wilton Ave.

Dec 11 03.30 Bins over in Harborough and Kenilworth last night, also a lot of noise by people shouting around end houses in Kenilworth at 01.00 and later shouting in Harborough.

Dec13 Garage in Fitzhugh broken into early afternoon.

Dec 14 Bins over in Kenilworth and Harborough.

Noise in Harborough approx 03.00 by residents and visitors at HMO.

Dec 22 Crime scene taped off outside 2 HMOs in Devonshire Road.

Two men had jumped on girl as she entered and sprayed her face, then ran off. There had been a burglary at same house the week before.

Dec 23 Settee taken from garden and dumped on pavement in Wilton Ave, also bins over and signs pulled out of gardens in Newcombe Road.

Dec 30 Awoken by loud music from HMO in Harborough Road at 00.40 and kept awake for an hour.

Bin kicked over at junction of Kenilworth and Harborough.

Dec 31 Men from HMO Harborough threw fireworks at car outside our gate.

January 2013

Prepared 16th July 2013