Friday, 04 September 2015

‘Locality’ clause cut from eviction proposals

The government has revised proposals to allow social landlords to seek fast-track evictions in the light of last week’s riots.

An updated version of the consultation document, A new mandatory power of possession for anti-social behaviour, would make it easier to evict people where criminal or anti-social behaviour has been committed away from the offender’s home.

As it currently stands, the law states tenants can be evicted for criminal or anti-social behaviour committed in the ‘locality’ of the property in which they live. This has led some landlords to question whether they can evict tenants who are convicted or rioting and looting if the offences did not take place in their area.

The revised consultation on the mandatory power of possession suggests the government should revise the Housing Act 1985 and Housing Act 1988 ‘so that serious anti-social behaviour and criminality beyond the immediate neighbourhood of the property can clearly be taken into account’.

In a letter to the chief executives of stock-holding local authorities and large housing associations, housing minister Grant Shapps said: ‘It cannot be right for the sanction [eviction] to apply only to criminal behaviour towards neighbours or in the locality of the property as it does at the moment.’

The consultation document on mandatory possession was originally issued on 3 August, and would give social landlords the power to evict assured or secure tenants more quickly if they have been found guilty of various offences. The deadline for responses has been extended to 7 November following the amendments.

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