Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Councils Need Powers to Tackle Private Landlords Ignoring Problem Tenants

LGA press release 11 November 2013

Lords are being urged to hand councils the power to force private landlords to crackdown on anti-social behaviour caused by their tenants.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, has successfully lobbied for the Government to amend the Draft Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill to allow local authorities to seek injunctions to evict private tenants.

Council leaders are now calling on Lords to go one step further when the Bill returns to the House tomorrow (12 November) and follow Scotland's lead by handing them the power to compel private landlords to take action over problem tenants.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Bill (Scotland) Act 2004 forces private landlords north of the border to be registered with their local council and can see them banned from collecting rent if they fail to take their responsibility to manage their tenants seriously.

Cllr Mehboob Khan, Chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:

"Councils know people look to them to tackle the anti-social behaviour which can make a law-abiding resident's life hell or blight an entire neighbourhood. The Government's recent decision to allow councils to take action against private tenants as well as those in social housing will go a long way to helping them protect communities.

"The problem of anti-social behaviour by private tenants is considerable. While the majority of private landlords are responsible and considerate, there are plenty who care little about the behaviour of their tenants as long as they pay their rent each week.

"Hitting those who ignore warnings by stopping them from collecting rent would certainly be one way for councils to make them sit up and take notice of the damaging effect that anti-social can inflict on neighbours and the community as a whole."