A court has condemned a leading housing association after one of it’s tenants was left homeless due to neighbours launching a campaign of racist abuse against them.
Tenant paid £31000 by housing association after racist abuse: The housing association, London and Quadrant (L&Q) failed to follow the code of practice that protects tenants from racial harrassment and was found guilty of insensitivity in a county court judgement issued last week. Lara Tate (whose name has been changed to protect her identity) was forced to flee from her flat in 2015 after suffering from 9 months of abuse from a neighbouring family that ended up in death threats.
The neighbours were convicted of racially aggravated harassment however L&Q failed to act in evicting them nor re-housing Tate who had shared the converted house with them but felt too scared to return. Tate, who has continued to pay rent on the flat, has been threatened with court action by L&Q for not occupying it but says that she will not return and has been staying with family for the past 5 years.
She has also sued the housing association after finding out that a previous black tenant has also been driven out by the same family. After a court found out that she was assured there was no record of anti-racist behaviour at the property a judge awarded her £31,000 in damages.
Tate said “L&Q have ignored the criminal convictions and police reports and the fact that I’ve been ousted from my home. They insist I stay in this abusive environment and bid for one of their other properties for up to two years.”
The racism started the day after she moved in to the house in 2014 with Tate saying “The couple and their three children would chant, ‘Who let the monkeys out!’, slam the communal door with all the force they could muster, make openly racist and derogatory remarks and bang on my door and accuse me of things.” The county court summed up that L&Q had sided with the neighbours who have three young children.
Tate went on to say “I had to give up my job when a friend who let me stay with her in London sold her house and I had to move in with my mother in Nottingham. The strain has affected my mental health to the extent that I can’t look for more work.”
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