A COUNCIL tenant has been ordered to remove a patio she created without permission in the garden behind her home - even though an official admitted it helped to improve the area’s visual appearance.

Myra Thompson has also had to cut down the top 18 inches of a fence she installed around the communal garden at the back of her council flat in Rowntree Avenue, Clifton, York.

Myra said that when she took on the flat, the garden was in a poor, overgrown condition and City of York Council had done little to improve it.

She said she had spent £3,000 of her own money on improving the look of the garden and put up a 6ft fence around it to improve her security.

A housing management officer told her in one letter: “Having seen the work you have done, I agree it is to a good standard and it does improve the area visually.” But she said that under a tenancy requirement, tenants should always get written permission beforehand for such work.

After Myra made a complaint to the council, another officer confirmed she had breached her tenancy agreement and said she had to reduce the height of the fence and revert the patio area back to lawn.

The official said she had viewed photographs of the alterations and agreed they appeared to be to a good standard. “Some may say they improve the appearance of the area,” she said.

“However the tenancy you hold does not include the communal garden.

“The fencing around the outside is not in keeping with the surrounding area and can attract crime and anti-social behaviour where it obscures areas from view.”

She added that a compromise had been offered, allowing Myra to keep a separate patio area created near her bedroom window.