Danish Supreme Court precedent could increase housing associations’ eviction powers – The Post

Danish Supreme Court precedent could increase housing associations’ eviction powers

The association has the upper hand now (photo: accurateserveftmyers.com)
May 7th, 2018 12:05 pm| by Ben Hamilton

A Supreme Court precedent could give the nation’s housing associations the right to evict tenants who commit crimes in the neighbourhoods in which they live.

Previously, the crime needed to be in the close vicinity of the criminal’s home for the eviction notice to stick.

The case in question concerned the family of a youth who attacked the police in the Vollsmose area of Bøgetorvet in the city of Odense, half a kilometre away from where they lived in Birkeparken.

A new tool in their armory
Pia Nielsen, the chief executive of FSB, which operates half the housing in the notorious north Copenhagen neighbourhood of Tingbjerg, expressed her pleasure with the ruling.

“The verdict says very clearly that you do not have to commit a crime on your doorstep, but in the general area, and it will be an important tool for us,” she told DR.

“It’s something we will use in special cases.”

Reversed High Court ruling
After losing the case at the Supreme Court, the youth’s mother must pay costs in excess of 70,000 kroner.

A High Court ruling had concluded she did not have to vacate the flat.

Her son was previously jailed for eight months for throwing stones, bottles and molotov cocktails at the police.

READ MORE: Son’s crime leads to family’s eviction

A political decision
The judgement would appear to be in line with the government’s recently-announced Ghetto Plan, which suggested that tenants could face eviction if they committed a crime within a kilometre of their home.

READ MORE: Politics News in Brief: Government aiming to get rid of ‘ghettos’ by 2030

The verdict could be appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, but lawyers are warning it would be a big risk and that the woman could jeopardise her fundamental rights to housing.