Monday, 01 September 2014

Council backs fast-track eviction plans

The UK’s largest council landlord has backed plans to allow fast-track evictions of social tenants.

John Lines, cabinet member for housing at Birmingham, said the council would seek responses from its 65,000 tenants to the proposals.

Housing minister Grant Shapps released an amended version of the government’s consultation on fast-track evictions earlier this week, following last week’s riots.

The updated version contains a clause that makes it clear tenants can be evicted from their homes if they are found guilty of criminal or anti-social behaviour anywhere in the UK, rather than just near their property.

Mr Lines said: ‘I am pleased the government has acted so swiftly to seek the views of tenants and local politicians on a new mandatory power of possession for anti-social behaviour.

‘I’m glad the minister has also agreed to hear views from private landlords. This could represent a huge step change in protecting law-abiding tenants from individuals who attach no value to their rented home and do not respect their neighbours.’

Readers' comments (21)

  • Chris

    Tory extremist supports Tory extremism - this is like a Migration Watch piece of research, meaningless at best, incestuous at worst.

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  • Eric Blair

    I expect we'll see a fast track to further social problems then.

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  • McMadman

    Shameful.

    And before anyone else posts saying that social housing tenants deserve this because they don't pay for their housing, the RSL I work for has 65% of it's tenants not claiming HB but on relatively low wages.

    If the punishment for a given crime is a fine and/or imprisonment and removal of your right to live at an address, that's the decision taken by parliament and the courts. But it should apply equally whether it is the 16 yr old council tenant's son who gets the jail for thieving a bottle of water and his family evicted, or the solicitors daughter nicked and jailed - their family should be evicted from their "bought" house too.

    Similarly, if there is to be talk of removing all benefits from those claiming if convicted of riot offences, why not increase the tax rate to 100% for those working and convicted ?

    It's called equality. Unless you really support the tory attack on the poor rather shamefully supported by the lib dumbs, there is no reasoned argument against this.

    Quite frankly if there is not perceived to be this equality - if only the poor get six months jail, get evicted, get their money ceased, and yet this doesn't happen to those working and not renting from a council or HA, and then the top rate of tax is cut from 50% and the bankers benefit (again) - seems like that is creating further grounds for serious civil unrest that will make these English riots look like a walk in the park.

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  • i'm unsure as to whose art will imitate life in the not so distant future. Huxley or Orwell.

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  • It does seem to be open warfare on the low-waged doesn't it?

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  • Melvin Bone

    I'm not sure your reaction would be the same if you were a shopkeeper and your neighbour was the chap that looted and firebombed your shop and was still living in his grace and favour council house...

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  • Though shopkeeper and other victims of the riots deserve every sympathy and support Melvin has the jaundiced and offensive view that all the perpetrators were council tenants. Problem with people like him is that they is they give the impression of spouting preconceived ideas devoid of detailed research and fact. Likely another disciple of Rachman and Shapps.

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  • errr...hello? Rioting is a criminal act and should be dealt with by police and criminal justice system. Housing should be kept out of this altogether. So far, all these proposals do is to add to the burden faced by the taxpayer for the rioting. We will pay for the clear-up, we will pay for the insurance hikes, and we will pay for the inreased rent for all those who end up on LHA. Lawyers and private landlords are the only winners with these proposals.

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  • Without getting into a social argument - a landlord should have the right to evict antisocial elements. I am sure they will be re-housed if homeless at public expense. But it is the strong message that is important.

    As a corollary, all social tenants should be checked for income and family numbers every year to ensure their original allocation status and rents adjusted if found necessary.

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  • While the riot sentencing is going off rather extremely, I've always been of the mind that even before the riot insanity, being given a criminal sentence should lose you your council home. Unless of course people making such nonsense comments about homeowners losing their homes as well, I'd imagine many that are given jail sentences probably do not being able to afford the mortgage while imprisoned.

    Fines for damages should also be applied, but of course those on benefits wouldn't be able to afford to pay them anyway. I find it odd that people claiming benefits and living in council property would often 'walk away' from such smaller previous sentencing because of their poor status while homeowners or workers would face financial penalties, but suddenly it's not 'equality' now the extremism is on the other side.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the sentencing and most of this posturing is poorly thought out and likely to cost more in appeals and likely be overturned in a few months anyway, but I laugh at the belief that the employed or the homeowners could (and still do) not suffer when faced with criminal charges before all this kicked off.

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