Wednesday, 22 October 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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Eric Blair

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

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • McMadman


    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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 per page | 20 per page | 50 per page

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

More Newsletters



  • The family man


    Wandsworth’s family recovery project has been praised by government ministers. Council leader Ravi Govindia tells Caroline Thorpe that the authority’s approach is all about keeping communities safe

  • The legal year ahead


    Experts in housing law flag up legislative changes that will affect the sector in 2015

  • Racist couple who threatened to kill neighbours evicted

    2 December 2013

    An abusive and racist couple who threatened to kill their neighbours have been evicted after making life ‘hell’ for those living near them.

  • Land of confusion


    Instead of clarifying where landlords stand, new anti-social behaviour legislation is confusing

  • The risks of joint tenancy


    The rights of individuals in joint tenancies need more protection


  • Home sweet home


    Viridian Housing is training its staff to recognise signs of domestic abuse and to support affected tenants. Kate Youde finds out how

  • Reaching crisis point


    Tenants on the verge of eviction are being helped to remain in their homes by a recently formed social enterprise that is saving their landlords significant sums in the process. Daniel Douglas finds out how

  • The apprentice


    Faced with thousands of pounds of debt and uncertain job prospects, school leavers are increasingly taking up apprenticeships as an alternative to university. Gwen Smith meets apprentice turned housing officer Jordan McKenna to discover the benefits of learning on the job

  • Fighting back


    As the private rented sector continues to grow, so does the number of problematic landlords. Michael Pooler finds out how tenants are taking matters into their own hands to fight for better conditions

  • The prefab way


    Hammersmith & Fulham Council is erecting pre-fabricated homes and Brighton has turned to shipping containers, Lydia Stockdale reports

IH Subscription



You will soon need to sign into using your email address rather than your username.

If you are unsure which email address is linked to your account, please Click Here. Your password will remain the same.

If you have a print subscription we need to ensure that we have the correct details in order to link your subscription to your online account, for more information Click Here.

Click here to close window