by Mary Latham
16:53 PM, 11th November 2011, About 12 years ago 54
Tenants with anti social behaviour orders will be forced into the private rented sector if proposals to give housing associations and councils a discretionary power to evict tenants who commit crime – even when they have acted long distances away from where they live – go ahead. “Social landlords have claimed their tenants are being stigmatised by the Government’s plans to evict tenants who commit anti-social behavior miles from their homes.”
My concern is where will these people go to live? The answer seems fairly obvious, they will go to private landlords who have no way of knowing that they have been evicted from the social sector and this will exacerbate the already increasing problems that landlords face when dealing with this type of tenant. If local authorities, with their trained and skilled Anti Social Behavior staff, cannot modify the behavior of these tenants how on earth can private landlords, who have no skills or training, be expected to deal with them?
Moving people out of the social sector will not solve the problem, it will worsen it. Landlords will be forced to go through the lengthy eviction process to remove them from our properties and in the mean time other tenants and neighbours will put us under pressure and are very likely to find support from Police and local authorities. This is a ridiculous situation.
According to this article, “The National Housing Federation suggested that the new clauses appeared ‘to be at odds with the minister’s introduction of the original proposals, which focused on the need to stop anti-social tenants making the lives of their neighbours a misery’.”
The issue of anti social behaviour was highlighted by the summer riots but it is not exclusive to people who cause problems on this scale. One person can have a devastating effect on the lives of those around them and moving that person from one area and/or tenure to another is not going solve this growing problem.
Government need to address the illness not the symptoms and give people a clear message that their behaviour will not be tolerated. I haven’t got the answer, although I have got my opinions, but the issue needs to be discussed at the highest level with all those who deal with the people who cause the problems and solutions must be found to stop ASB once and for all. If it is thought necessary to remove people from where they live because the impact of their behaviour is so great, then perhaps they should be placed somewhere that they will be supervised and retrained to become useful members of society.
One thing is certain and that is private landlords like me should not be expected to deal with these people where trained professional have failed.