0:01 AM, 13th December 2022, About 12 months ago 7
At least half of landlords who have served a repossession notice have done so to tackle a tenant’s criminal or anti-social behaviour, research reveals.
The findings from National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) highlight that communities are facing misery because local councils and the police are failing to deal with the culprits.
And 84% of landlords who had to serve a possession notice say they had not received any council help in tackling anti-social behaviour and 75% didn’t get any help from their local police.
Unsurprisingly, 67% of landlords said they struggled to gather evidence of wrongdoing from fellow tenants and neighbours.
One landlord highlights the issues facing the sector when he told the NRLA: “Sometimes (especially in a house of multiple occupancy) tenants fear to speak up about other tenants acting aggressively or drinking or on drugs, for fear of safety.
“My tenants have been assaulted by my other tenants and we can’t ask them to leave without evidence.”
He added: “Evidence takes time and, in our experience, all the other tenants moved out and we lost money waiting for the bad one to leave.”
But it’s not just landlords who are concerned about anti-social behaviour – the public is also worried.
According to the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, of those who experienced anti-social behaviour in the last year, just 26% reported their concerns to the police or local authorities – but only 41% of those say they were satisfied with the response they received.
Now, the NRLA is warning that efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour will be made harder when Section 21 repossessions are scrapped in the private rented sector.
They say that under the Government’s plans, where tenants cause misery for fellow tenants and neighbours, landlords will only be able to repossess a property where the police or local authority have taken action against them.
However, the Government has agreed to the NRLA’s calls for a roundtable meeting to discuss how to tackle the problem of anti-social behaviour in rented housing with the NRLA calling for several measures to ensure effective action against nightmare tenants. These include:
Implementing, in full, the recommendations of the Victims Commissioner’s 2019 report on anti-social behaviour
Anti-social behaviour hearings should be prioritised by the courts with possession orders enforced swiftly thereafter
Where the police or local authorities take action in response to a tenant’s anti-social behaviour, it should be a legal requirement to inform the landlord.
Ben Beadle, the NRLA’s chief executive, said: “The vast majority of tenants and landlords have a good relationship.
“However, the minority of renters committing anti-social behaviour cause misery for their fellow tenants and communities more widely.
“They leave many living in fear of giving evidence against them.”
He added: “The police and councils are failing to provide the support landlords desperately need to take swift and effective action against nightmare tenants.
“This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency before Section 21 repossessions are ended.”
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