Government reveals plans to evict ASB tenants more quickly
Landlords could be able to evict tenants who commit anti-social behaviour more quickly and easily in plans outlined by housing minister Grant Shapps today.
Mr Shapps proposed a new additional mandatory ground for possession, so tenants with a track record of anti-social behaviour can be evicted from their council or housing association property much more quickly.
Currently it can take over a year to remove anti-social residents. Mr Shapps will work with the Ministry of Justice to establish whether there are any unnecessary obstacles to the swift resolution of anti-social behaviour possession cases.
The Chartered Institute of Housing also announced today it will be taking on and managing the re-vamped Respect standard, which is aimed at driving up landlords’ performance on preventing and tackling anti-social behaviour.
The housing minister said: ‘For too long, too many social tenants have lived in fear of neighbours from hell, whose nasty and vicious behaviour blights their neighbourhoods.
’Victims and witnesses often have to continue living side by side with the perpetrators while action to evict them drags on for many months and sometimes years.’
Mr Shapps is looking at the use of probationary tenancies for anti-social residents and has dedicated £300,000 of government funding to a new central team to help tenants and landlords tackle the problem.
‘I want landlords to use the full range of powers at their disposal to tackle this menace head-on, so that the disruptive minority of social tenants don’t make everyone else’s lives a misery,’ he added.
The Government wants the court process to be faster and fairer, so tenants found guilty of housing related anti-social behaviour could automatically be evicted in the county court, removing the need to prove anti-social behaviour a second time.
The CIH was handed the responsibility of taking on the management of the Respect standard with the support of hundreds of signatories from within the social housing sector.
Sarah Webb, chief executive of the CIH, said: ‘The Respect Standard has played a key role in supporting landlords and tenants tackle the blight on families and communities that is anti-social behaviour… CIH is about sector-led improvement and we fully support the Government’s plans to pass ownership of excellence in practice back to the front line professionals.’
Crime prevention minister James Brokenshire said: ‘These measures announced today will give greater powers to social landlords and residents to take a firm stand against the bullies and the troublemakers who commit persistent anti-social behaviour and help protect some of the most vulnerable victims from sometimes daily abuse.’