The group of Bandidos bikers who purchased a house in Vanløse will now be forced to move out by the end of the year.
Vanløse resident Lars Georg Jensen, who has had the gang as neighbours for 14 months, called the eviction a “great victory” for the residential neighbourhood.
“It has been a long hard battle, and I am incredibly happy that we won,” Jensen told DR Nyheder.
Long ordeal for neighbours
The bikers purchased the property at a foreclosure auction in the spring of 2012, restored the house that summer, and moved into the house in October 2012.
“In the beginning, we tried talking to them,” said Jensen. “But it soon became clear that a biker clubhouse is just not compatible with a residential district, no matter how much dialogue we have with them.”
Jensen and his other neighbours have battled the bikers through City Council for the past year.
“It has cost us dearly to criticise them publicly,” he said. “I have had windows smashed in my house and several people have experienced run-ins with bikers because they asked them to quiet down.”
Along with the noise and motorcycles parked everywhere, Jensen said that the clubhouse created a sense of unease in the quiet residential neighborhood.
“There is the constant fear of being caught in the middle of the next gang war,” he said. “We are literally in the firing line. I felt that my 11-year-old son was in real danger if I let him outside.”
Jensen had high praise for City Council members Jakob Hougaard (S) and Jakob Næsager (K), who he said were instrumental in getting the clubhouse shut down.
The two were responsible for the plan submitted to the city's planning council, Teknik and Miljøudvalget, which dealt with the situation through a nearly century-old clause in housing regulations. Although the clubhouse is officially registered as the owner’s private home, a clause from 1918 states that property in a residential area can only be used to house families.
“The restrictive clause was made exactly for such a situation to protect the neighbours against people like Bandidos," Næsager told DR Nyheder. “It clearly says that the house cannot be used for business or other activities that create noise or are an inconvenience to the neighbours. And that is exactly what a gang clubhouse is.”
Out by the end of the year
The bikers must vacate the premises by year’s end.
“I am very pleased with the treatment we have received from the city,” said Jensen. “Especially from Jakob Hougaard and Jacob Næsager, who took us seriously from day one.”
Hougaard told DR Nyheder that he was glad that there was “a deadline for when the neighbours can sleep peacefully at night without being bothered by having a biker club in the backyard.”
Pay or we'll stay
The bikers had earlier tried to extort their neighbours by offering to move out if they were given half a million kroner.
The bikers can appeal against the decision, but Hougaard said that would be expensive and the he expects that the bikers will abide by the current decision.
“Being a biker is not illegal, so we can not prevent them from having a home somewhere else, but we will fight for it to be in an industrial or rural area where there are no people living close by.”